WORDS Philip Livchitz
Since her graduation from Central Saint Martins a few years ago, Grace Wales Bonner has been lauded as one of the brightest stars of menswear design globally. Her accolades speak for themselves; the British-Jamaican designer won the British Fashion Council’s emerging menswear designer award in 2015, followed by the prestigious LVMH prize in 2016. The SS17 collection, Wales Bonner’s first solo show, illustrated what is to be expected from the designer – androgynous garments intended to break the gender barriers coated in a delicate light of multiculturalism with an air of luxury and freedom around them.
This AW17 collection leaves no stones unturned and continues from where she left off; immaculate tailoring accompanied with delicate silk cuts and an elegant introduction of Renaissance themes into the garments as a whole. Her introduction of harlequin leather tailoring alongside crinkled shirts and 70’s caps gave the collection a sense of comfort and ease. Carrying on with her tradition of making use of diverse models, she sends a strong message of acceptance and unity in the wake of currently rising extreme right-wing ideologies.
This collection was genuinely one of the highlights during this LFWM and it set the threshold for Wales Bonner’s next collection higher. It is certain, however, that the young designer is rapidly establishing herself as one the best menswear designers in the industry.