Wales Bonner Men’s Spring 2022
Grace Wales Bonner crafted a breezy, laid-back collection in step with the times. In London, where the designer is based, people have only just begun transitioning from home to work wear, and the one word on their lips is “ease” — dresses are long, trousers are wide, proportions are generous and heels are low.
As she gazed at the city around her, Wales Bonner also looked to a different place and time, specifically West African studio portraiture and the work of the artist Sanlé Sory in the 1970s. Sory shot his portraits of young sophisticates at his Volta Photo studio in the country formerly known as Upper Volta, now called Burkina Faso.
Her show this season came as a film and a series of photographs in collaboration with Joshua Woods.
Wales Bonner Men's Spring 2022
Wales Bonner’s cool characters wore lightweight tailored suits, including one in cream with contrasting sleeves, wide-legged trousers, boxy cotton shirts and denim with colorful organic cotton panels hand woven in Burkina Faso.
The designer said she wanted the clothing to look lived-in and to conjure “a sense of escapism, and optimism, a holiday.”
Her ladies were similarly dressed for hot climes and good times, wearing denim skirts with the cotton inserts, a long, strappy crochet dress and boxy tops, one with a Japanese flower print.
She dressed all of her models in lots of fun geometric patterns, too — chevrons on a breezy midi dress or a ribbed halter neck dress, diamond shapes on a jazzy track suit and ticking stripes on a pair of lightweight drawstring trousers.
Wales Bonner said she likes the idea of offering “cultural luxury,” or the traditional work of local artisans, such as hand-embroidered craft stitching, the use of artisanal indigo dyes, and the West African jacquard on a frock coat.
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