Pictured above: A selection from Kent & Curwen's fall/winter collection.
When Simon Spurr was approached to head up the reinvention of the 88-year-old British heritage brand Kent & Curwen last year, the first thing he needed was a history lesson. "I'd actually never heard of it before," the U.K.-born designer admits. "Then I got excited because they have British roots but were open to modernization." Spurr—who's worked for Hedi Slimane, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger and oversaw his own eponymous label before leaving it in 2012—brought his Anglo-by-way-of-rock-and-roll sensibility to his debut collection, which features knits with punches of color, impeccably tailored slim-fitting suits, and flawless unlined leather jackets. The goal was to "move the needle," he says, on the brand's military and sporting legacy, which had waned since its peak days outfitting Oxford scholars and the likes of Cary Grant and Laurence Olivier. "The British military is a go-to kind of thing," says the newly minted creative director, "but I wanted to be more intellectual about it. Like, we did a belted yellow field jacket in bonded leather—it's very vibrant and almost Gattaca-esque." If it all sounds too fashion-forward, fear not. These are pieces rooted in classicism with just the right runway bent, making it easy to wear more than one in an outfit. And after seeing Spurr's handiwork this season, we wouldn't discourage that.