Parlez Q2 2020: Collection Overview
Since launching in 2012 Bristol based Parlez has become progressively more refined and has firmly found its feet within the UK’s streetwear scene. Naming themselves as a streetwear and lifestyle brand inspired by iconic sportswear and nautical aesthetics, a focus on simple silhouettes, functionality and understated branding is apparent within each seasonal release in addition to custom artwork which has become one of the brands greatest assets. In the last couple of years progression within the brand’s community has also gained momentum through the inclusion of lookbooks shot by guest photographers such as NYC based Zeke Martinez (aka Kneegash), Joshua J Sneade, Ned Collyer and Birmingham native Levi Thomas, alongside the introduction of ‘Parlez Session’s’, a series of mini-mixes, created specifically for Parlez from DJs, producers and musicians based in Bristol which demonstrates the support founders Cav and Will want to promote of their local Bristol social circle.
Continuing with a blend of vintage and outdoor influences paired with streetwear style, SS20 is one of Parlez’s strongest collections to date and is accentuated by super clean imagery which perfectly demonstrates a progression within both design and the brand’s digital presence. Clean lines and geometric shapes are met with a coastal colour palette across a selection of new shirting and outerwear silhouettes inspired by fishermans smocks, re-worked staples such as t-shirts and pullovers in addition to new practical accessories that offer easy-carry solutions for essential items. As the build up to summer in the UK commences, each piece has been designed with the shifting seasons in mind, taking into consideration wavering weather conditions in the UK and a variety of activities such as festivals, trips abroad and nights spent in the city. With embroidery being the favoured application technique for a clean finish, t-shirts such as the Ladsun Stripe and Ludwig stand out for their classic look and incorporate simplistic lettering against super soft 100% cotton silhouettes. A stand out piece for the season, the Behaim Organic T-Shirt is one of the first styles from Parlez to be made from 100% organic cotton and shows a new multi-coloured globe graphic on the chest above a line of coordinates which have become a core graphic from the brand and point to the city centre of Bristol, UK. Expanding on an abstract theme from previous collections, an overlay of colours and shapes, as seen on the Otto T-Shirt, bring a distinctive character to an otherwise simple design and subtly incorporate sails from boats and nautical two-tone flags often seen on shipping masts as a nod towards the brands love for maritime history.
With each new season Parlez’s outerwear styles have been becoming progressively more advanced and include detailing taken from heritage fisherman clothing, utilitarian workwear and fashionable sportswear. It is this combination of influences that result in a striking look across the designs and for spring/summer when less protection is needed, we’re looking to ¼ zip sweatshirts for the perfect amount of coverage. Enhanced by two-tone stripes across the chest and sleeves, the Parlez Tether 1/4 Zip is made from a blend of cotton french terry and has been cut to a relaxed, slightly baggier fitting than other styles with an adjustable drawcord fastening around the high cut collar neckline. Reminiscent of heavyweight ‘90s pullovers, the Parlez Taberly Sweatshirt has a similar look with stripe panelling at the waist and neckline either side of stylised embroidered lettering across the chest.
As far as shorts go for the season, a focus on wearability in and out of the water is seen through the Marlin Swim Shorts whilst the Vanguard and Vandra Shorts utilise poly cotton blends and water-resistant finishes which may not suit being fully submerged but are ideal for festivals and warm days spent strolling around the city. Decoration has been kept to a minimum for a timeless look with simple but effective white ‘Parlez’ lettering embroidered along the bottom left leg. In contrast to brighter styles from last season, accessories such as the Kirby Hipbag are quietly confident and don’t require any unnecessary detailing instead focusing on providing practical comfort and ample space to securely carry essentials.
As believers in a strong, sustainable design strategy, the Parlez team have emphasised the importance of creating high quality products that will last as opposed to fast fashion items. The simplistic and classic look of each of their designs encourages this and promotes a modern-vintage appeal. For extra reassurance, in addition to choosing manufacturers that are audited regularly and pay their staff fair wages, Parlez sources its raw materials from accredited sources and follows the Oeko-Tek standard 100 certification system to ensure any chemicals or dyes used do not contain harmful substances. SS20 marks the arrival of Parlez’s first 100% organic cotton t-shirts in demonstration of their efforts to move into more sustainably territory.
With a sense of the last two seasons being a turning point for Parlez and a presentation of the natural progression that comes from an independent streetwear brand, whether you support Parlez as a member of the South West community or admire them for their unique aesthetic, we’re expecting more great things of the brand and anticipate greater refinement in the coming seasons.
Shop all Parlez at Flatspot.