Universal Works AW21: A Textured Modern Utilitarian Uniform

“Design starts at the kitchen table,” says Universal Works founder David Keyte. For David, even after 12 years and the company growing into a global presence, the designer says he only needs three things as he sits down to start the exciting and daunting task of beginning a new collection – a clear head, a clear desk, and a large coffee.

Universal Works clothes have always stood out for their use of fabric and when first looking at a new collection it’s truly a full sensory experience – wildly different textures and weaves, colours can be found with fabrics that speak for themselves and show a meticulous approach to their selection and a true passion for fabric. In fact, Mr Keyte always starts with fabric selection first, and then builds the collection out from there, contrary to what many designers do where often the silhouettes are designed first and fabrics second.

There is also no theme per se. Instead, the fabric drives the direction of the collection, the shape of the garment depending on what works with that particular fabric. Inspiration can come from a wide range of sources such as films or from books.

For AW21 we see once again that the fabric is the driving force of the collection while fan-favourite silhouettes return such as their zip waistcoat in sports/outdoor wool fleece, a fabric that keeps its shape well, is hard-wearing but soft enough for daily wear.

Another standout piece for us this season is the Checked Wool Fleece Cardigan which comes in a thick-cut fleece in warm, colourful check patterns. They feature plenty of pockets and a nice high button stance to really lock in the warmth. A versatile piece that can be worn as a top layer or layered under a coat or jacket for when it really chills off.

The choice of fabrics used in the collection are many, ranging from Harris Tweed, Japanese-sourced bold paisley fabrics and Tek Wax® a super-lightweight material used for outerwear and has similar properties to traditional wax-cotton but is lighter weight and easier to maintain.

We’re loving what we’ve got in from Universal Works AW21 so far. You can shop all the latest arrivals from the brand right now online or head down to our store in Sheperd’s Bush to see it in person (you won’t be disappointed!).

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