I find fashion that tells a story intriguing, whether the narrative is about the wearer or about the garments themselves. Working with Dancys men’s accessories made me especially conscious of the story each piece had to tell. The fabrics and designs fit seamlessly into a history of menswear in which detail, cut, weave and intention mean everything.
When talking to Dancys founder Nelly, it was evident that she had her own story woven in the cloth of her designs. It’s a brand built on design, considered choices and good ethics. Each print, cloth and colour has been carefully matched to a different accessory item. The devil is in the detail whether it be Harris Tweed ties in a Bloomsbury Set style colour palette, socks produced in a Leicester factory with over 80 years of sock making experience to boot; or in Dancys pocket squares that are 100% pure cotton in a beautiful edit of patterns, you’d never want to blow your nose on one of these beauties.
Dancys mustard yellow socks in a fine twisted rope rib link Dancys to its local geography, having been designed in Norwich, home of Colman’s Mustard. Although Colman’s, like so many British factories of yesteryear, will be relocating outside of the UK to keep costs down. Dancys prides itself in being designed and made in the UK. Before the 1970s this would have been quite an inconsequential fact as the majority of British fashion stores were stocked with pieces made in the UK. Yet today investing in British businesses is critical in plans for the future in relation to the environment but also in light of Brexit looming. We need labels like Dancys to be champions for UK creativity and ethical production.
As a brand it takes integrity and determination to keep production within the UK, as it’s more costly than outsourcing. Outsourcing production can cut costs for the consumer yet it can come with a much higher environmental impact. This is why the story that Dancys tells is not just the of beauty of each piece or how quality accessories can bring refinement to an outfit. It tells a story of how we can be conscious shoppers. We can luxuriate in the knowledge that our purchases haven’t travelled further than Phileas Fogg, the packaging they arrive in is recycled and that they keep UK manufacturers in business, standards which should be made tradition.
Styling and props: Susie Lloyd
Photography: Matt Keal