Happy Easter! Here’s a beautiful treat: The Elder Statesman‘s vibrant autumn-winter 2022 look-book. This season, Los Angeles-based label’s creative director, Bailey Hunter, rang up her friends in Jamaica and gave them the keys to the castle. In collaboration with Savannah Baker, the collection’s photos and film were shot around Portland, Jamaica, and include jacquards and intarsias created by Baker’s niece, the British-Jamaican artist Kione Grandison. Good vibes abound. With each year, founder Greg Chait reports business going better and better and better, and with each season the brand opens the door to new ideas and techniques. Coats are made from an Italian woven hand whipstitched in Los Angeles. Post-consumer recycled-cashmere button-downs are hand dyed in the brand’s expansive L.A. H.Q. A new corduroy program, made from Italian cashmere, brings the label beyond sweaters and into one-of-a-kind tie-dye separates. Elsewhere the dyes have no ties at all – and there is experimentation in new ways to create print and texture on the sweaters. Even the abstracted checkerboard patterns and amoeba-like dyes – both executed in previous seasons – feel new and exciting. And that’s a big statement for a mostly knitwear brand.
“When I started this collection I was reflecting on who I wanted to be as a designer,” reflects Paolina Russo. “In the past I’ve been the sporty colorful girl, but I didn’t really get to show the breadth of my world.” Google Russo’s name and the sporty, colorful ethos definitely dominates her results. It’s what has made retailers like Ssense buy into her collection and megabrands like Adidas seek her out for collaborations. But there’s more than meets the eye to Russo’s oeuvre. Born to a family of collectors in Canada, Russo inherited a certains sentimentality and nostalgia. For autumn-winter 2022, she’s plumbing her youth, morphing video game heroines with aloof suburban teens. Knitwear is a main focus, with fully fashioned wool pieces in tonal colorways. Russo is a master of the stitch, turning cable knits into corset boning and draping a midi-skirt to hang from slinky hip bone cutouts. She’s pulled on her snowboarding past to create padded sleeve jackets that evoke ski gear. The few cut-and-sew pieces have a video game look, with neon insets and pleated skirts. On the whole, her collection pushes the Paolina Russo brand to a more essential level – not just show pieces but real everyday clothes. Let’s see where she goes next.
Henry Zankov, an experienced, New York-based knitwear designer, concepted his namesake brand to inject a sense of playfulness, freshness and ease into men’s and women’s knitwear. Zankov is a knitwear collection that establishes a new visual and tactile language with a strong emphasis on color, touch, pattern and quality. Exquisite, natural fibers are juxtaposed with technical yarns and knit with a clean, minimal surface using specialist techniques. Luxurious brushed alpaca, high-twist viscose crepe and tubular cashmere blends are key yarns realized in horizontal knitting, intarsias and jacquards. Quality and finish are paramount: the inside of each garment is just as important as the outside. The core of the brand is very much inspired by art, color, life and the street. Exploring a genderless and an uncomplicated way to wear knitwear, silhouettes are simple yet iconic, to be shared and cherished. Discover this brilliant brand here!
After closing his London-based fashion brand a couple of years ago, Jonathan Saunders, the acclaimed Scottish designer, had the time to rethink how the industry works and whether he still wants to play along its rules. Now based in Brooklyn, Saunders focuses on his other big passion – design. Saunders Studio was founded in 2019 with the objective of creating a brand that blurred lines between genres of design, with an emphasis on color, innovative materials and a graphic sensibility. The designer has recently introduced a line of homeware, producing artful and emotive pieces to add a characterful touch to interiors. The collection draws on Saunders’ distinctive use of vibrant tones and geometric motifs, honed through his study of printed textiles at London’s Central Saint Martins. Innovatively crafted pieces, from fringed cushions and colour-contrast blankets to twisted candles, are the first items available to buy in his on-line shop and on Matches Fashion. Of course, there is also the incredible, fluffy-like-marshmallow knitwear – something I always adored the most in his eponymous fashion label days. All sweaters are knitted in New York from chunky merino yarns, occasionally set with contrasting tasselled patch pockets. Can’t wait to see what’s coming next from Saunders!
Switching from digital couture to one of the most heavenly labels in New York – Lauren Manoogian. For resort 2021, the designer’s earthy, tonal, and textural designs go side by side with her sculptural, wabi-sabi knits and accessories. Due to the pandemic, Manoogian was confined to her studio in Brooklyn and as such, her lineup, based on some greatest hits and forgotten gems from her archive, had to be captured with a more localized, low-key approach – no architectural backgrounds as usual. She hired two models, one that came in the morning and one in the afternoon, and photographed the clothes inside the studio with natural light and a backdrop made from items she picked up at the local hardware store. The finished images are unretouched, further emphasizing the organic look and feel of Manoogian’s new pieces. Soft blue and gray turtleneck dresses and bouclé blanket capes looked right at home in the serene, natural setting of Manoogian’s at-home studio. So too did the roomy, oversized trousers, cozy cardigans, and voluminous robes. Manoogian’s designs are grounding and unfussy but still striking, ideal for uncertain times like ours. The knis really speaks for itself, simple and timeless.