Two rising stars at London Fashion Week prove the diversity in black fashion.
As expected (and always well-received), London Fashion Week takes the prize for the most progressive and pioneering platform for black talent. Outside of Africa, that is. Mirroring the melting-pot that London is, LFW’s digital installation for AW21 kept to that standard. No two black designers are the same, and allowing for choice at Fashion Week is the only way to best capture a balanced reality. London does it best. Read on to see two of our standout picks; designers who both in their own right, exemplify the diversity and many facets of creativity amongst black designers and their approaches to fashion.
Having recently been spotlighted for GucciFest – amongst a number of other features and honours – 27-year-old Bianca Saunders continues to go from strength to strength in her multidisciplinary creative approach to menswear for AW21. Her most recent AW21 offering titled “Superimposed,” came in the form of short film paired with presentation. It was inspired by Saunder’s memories of sculptures she “exhibited in Paris last autumn …and… inspiration from artist Jean Cocteau.” A complete body of work exploring the “juxtaposition of positive and negative spaces,” and creative sexiness in both the surreal and real world.
As usual, Bianca has provided a quintessential collection for the new man, that rewrite menswear with oxymorons; comfortability with elegance, recognisable silhouettes against explorative, “unstructured” cuts and finishes. Sleek and perfectly simple workwear shirts and bomber jackets, featured oversized pockets. Layered creases on a traditional shirt give it character and a stony, textured effect. All make to best exhibit Bianca’s tradition of making an impression through detail, whether that be to give an a-line shape, asymmetric necklines for a pulled look, or alterations for a slim looking waistline and broad shoulders.
Another of our favourite newcomers Maximilian Davis – featured in our SS21 trends article – returns with editorial levels of pizzaz for the LFW customary Fashion East showcase roster.
This season gave a sense of heroic elegance (without the comical), as all pieces provided a different personality and spirit, yet still a uniformed, coordinated-combination type theme throughout. Maximilian’s work is a masterclass in sexy tailoring and fits, keeping the history of black society in mind. And the details of each option of his AW21 collection are too good not to mention.
The designs included scuba tight styled head-pieces, a sunflower yellow monochromatic fit: leather skirt and long sleeve top with a plunging neckline, plus cut-outs for shoulders on full display. Also, a modest, closed tuxedo against short-shorts. Tasteful cutout dresses and bodysuits too. In this collection, not one detail is amiss and not one outfit is a miss.
For the men, options include hoods and trousers with one red leather stripe, a svelte blazer & elongated tux jacket, tailored with large lapels. Also, a pink shirt and matching tie – perhaps paying homage to Ozwald Boateng’s love of colored tailoring, especially for the black man. Accessories signed and sealed this superstory, including unique googles by headwear designer Nasir Mazhar, that give off a reddish and amber hazard tint. Not forgetting evening wear gloves and reinterpreted legwarmers, fit for a classy night out sometime soon. The images end with the last model adorned with a regal headdress with black feathering. Fit for a Caribbean carnival, a queen’s guard, or an African warrior. In other words, something for everyone. Most particularly, something for black people.