There’s a lot more to Stan Ray than just heavy-duty work-wear fabrics. Whilst our penchant for hickory stripes and sateen cotton is well-documented, we’re also firm fans of a well-placed print or pattern, especially in the summer months.
This season we’ve created a range of prints, heavily influenced by the peace movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. And whereas in previous years we’ve used a batik process for our printed-wares, this season we’ve swapped to a less water-intensive digital method. The patterns still look ace, but a lot less water is used.
The designs feature on everything from the Short Sleeve Tour Shirt - a lightweight spread-collar summer shirt - to the Fillmore Bucket Hat - a rayon fishing hat which takes its name from the legendary San Francisco music hall.
And then there’s our Beach Pants, with four big patch pockets, a loose, relaxed shape and a drawstring waist - if our Fatigue Pants hit the hippy trail back in ‘72, this is where they’d end up. The Volley Shorts have a similar casual flavour. Made from rayon, they’re a lightweight pair of shorts that work just as well on dry land as they do in the salty sea.
As for the patterns themselves, there’s three - the Garden Print, the Flag Print and the Peace Print. Our Garden Print combines two ubiquitous symbols of the peace movement - the daisy, and the CND peace symbol. The humble daisy has long been a symbol of peace, and was famously used in Lyndon B. Johnston’s infamous ‘Daisy’ political advert in the run-up to the 1964 American presidential election.
The stark black-and-white advert contrasted footage of a young girl picking the petals from a daisy with the countdown for the launch of a nuclear missile, and is sometimes regarded as one of the most powerful anti-nuclear messages ever made. A year later, when Allen Ginsberg devised the concept of ‘flower power’ - transforming marches into peaceful protests by way of flowers, props and plastic toys - the daisy became a regular sight at marches, often embroidered onto surplus military gear.
The Flag Print is another design heavily influenced by the age of counter-culture, and takes inspiration from a stripped-back version of the American flag used on stickers and flyers in the 1960s. Whilst an all-over flag design it might sound pretty wild, thanks to the abstract nature of the design, it’s perhaps the most subtle of the three patterns this season.
And finally, there’s the Peace Print, which merges the yin-and-yang sign with the dove of peace. This is our version of a motif we found on a t-shirt worn by an anti-war protestor in an old black and white photograph - we sharpened the design up a touch, but the sentiment remains the same. After all, in the words of Elvis Costello (and Bill Murray), “what’s so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding?”