Yes, you read that right. Alan Titchmarsh can now add model to his verdant list of accomplishments, which already includes horticulturalist, poet, erotic novelist and bellringer. The former Gardeners’ World host is the face of Adidas’ new Gardening Pack, a capsule collection of apparel and footwear inspired by all things green-fingered.
Ranging from a vest emblazoned with pockets (perfect for your secateurs and twine) and practical zip-off trouser-shorts to earthy-toned trainers and hike-inspired shoes, the collection is part of Adidas Consortium Workshop, which dreams up limited-editions inspired by the spirit of the Adidas Originals brand. The range nods to outdoor models found in the Adidas archive, and the design team thought there was something interesting (and humorous) about “juxtaposing the hard hitting design and function of trail and the great outdoors, with what is traditionally seen as a pastime of leisure,” a spokesperson from the Adidas Consortium Workshop tells It’s Nice That.
Like many of the Consortium Workshop undertakings, the aim was to cut through the noise of a crowded streetwear market and show the personalist of the Adidas brand – in this case with humour, Adidas Consortium Workshop explains. The ‘horti-couture’ range is pretty tongue-in-cheek and left field in terms of inspiration. For example, its Hoverturf shoe, which features a blacked-out lace cover panel, is described as perfect for “covert, night-time pruning operations” and many of the products are named after lawnmowers.
Devised by London-based agency Trippin and French fashion photographer Alma Rosaz, the concept of the shoot was to create a hyper-real setting with an infomercial feel, complete with fake lawn plants and lots of flash. Rosaz says, “Both the studio and the set design add a quirky and ‘fake’ touch to the whole project which is always present in my photography practice. I therefore thought that recreating a constructed reality in a studio was necessary in order to bring humour to the campaign.”
Titchmarsh’s fellow models on the shoot were presenter Alhan Gencay and songwriter Khloe Anna – both plant-lovers it turns out. “It was important for us to combine the OG with new gen gardeners,” says the Adidas Consortium Workshop team. “The chemistry was immediate on set with Alan and Alhan first bonding over names and later sharing real gardening tips.”
Saturated block colours and brightly coloured props add a touch of playfulness, and also ramp up the comedy and surreal nature of a campaign featuring Mr Titchmarsh. Rosaz says, “Using sharp and bright lighting emphasises the contrast between colours and on the simulation of reality. The aim was to recreate sunlight by using unnatural lighting to it in order to create this ‘fake’ feeling.”
But, most importantly, how did the OG gardener rate the garms? “Alan loved the whole collection,” says the Adidas Consortium Workshop team, “but he took some convincing to wear socks with the Response Hoverturf sandal model.”
The adidas Gardening Club collection will be available from 12 October.