Goes without saying, that lockdown has been different for everyone. We’ve all been in the same storm – just in different boats. There’s one element that unites us though, and that’s the sensation of being trapped, and feeling frustrated about how long our lives are going to be put ‘on hold’. But with restrictions lifting soon, we’re on the edge of freedom. It’s finally time to stop buying new slippers and start thinking about some new clobber instead.
For Universal Works, shooting the new look book for Spring 2021 indoors instead of outside was the natural choice. It needed to reflect the reality of how we’ve all been living – minus the Netflix marathons, Zoom fatigue and hourly trips to the fridge, but with an added layer of optimism and positivity. Don’t get us wrong, we love kicking back with an elasticated waistband, but we wanted to use this new season launch as an opportunity to smarten things up a bit.
Shot at Pear Tree House in London, one of the first things you’ll notice about the concept for “Stuck In” is the lack of footwear, which pretty much sums up the isolation situation. Who needs kicks when you’re working from home? After that, you’ll probably spot the randoms clothed in top-to-toe white lurking in the background. This was a nod to that familiar feeling of going a bit stir crazy from too much time spent inside, and also, the 2009 blockbuster film, ‘Parasite’ from the Korean director Bong Joon-Ho (give it a watch if you’ve not seen it already). When we merged all the elements together: the slick, impeccably designed modernist architecture, a fascination with how the other half live, the unnerving presence of hired hands and the humour that’s helped us all pull through this madness, it’s ended up being a pretty accurate representation of the past year.
The gaff itself is also worth a mention. Built in 2012, the entire layout was based around an existing 100-year-old Pear Tree already on the site. All the floor-to-ceiling windows face inwards towards the courtyard, making the layout work as a perfect mix of inside and outside. It’s the kind of 50:50 vibe we can probably all appreciate at the moment, but we reckon it pays to get prepped for the lighter nights and summer days ahead, so bin those manky old jogging bottoms and invest in fresh new Universal Works threads (or socks) instead.