Set among 200 acres of parkland populated by red and fallow deer in County Durham, England, Raby Castle was the seat of the Neville dynasty from the 14th century; today it is the residence of the Vane family, the Barons Barnard. The castle’s historic interiors are alive with the warmth of burgundy walls, ornate furniture, old master paintings, and forgotten rooms and corners. In this setting, Marc Audibet’s reinterpretations of classic English country wardrobe pieces for the Connolly A/W 2019 collection take on a heightened sense of drama and gravitas.
In keeping with the collection’s clean, modern cuts and simple tailoring, a bib-fronted dress shirt in silky, white pima cotton, for both men and women, evokes elegant evening dinners. A double-breasted tartan jacket and high-waisted trousers seems interwoven with the panels of light that shine through the castle’s windows.
Out in the grounds and the 18th century walled garden, cold winds buffet the edge of a fitted military coat in heavyweight twill, the double-breasted brass buttons glinting faintly in the low sun. An oversized cavalry coat in worsted cotton falls low to the ground, its khaki green resembling the moss that embellishes the surrounding trees and old stone walls.
Lorraine Acornley’s luxurious knits blend with these outerwear staples. An oversized cashmere sweater in a warm, earthy camel recalls the hues of fallen leaves, and a chunky Aran sweater in a thick, 14 ply cable knit is the soft white of a winter sky, or the rolling, snow-dusted hills of the surrounding Durham Dales.
The wool linings of the coats resist the frigid air of this empty moorland. A lone tree inhabits the windswept landscape, its bare-branched figure etched against the brooding clouds. The top of a gentle incline reveals a patchwork of fields extending below, ancient hedges and walls uniting the expanse of the monochrome valley. Mist and snow blur the forms of the landscape into smudges of silver, slate, charcoal and chalk.