Founded in 2019, Zankov is known for its graphic sweaters in bold color combinations and easy-to-wear silhouettes that the designer Henry Zankov has been slowly building upon and expanding season after season. He seemed most excited about a collaboration with his friend painter Philippine de Richemont. Zankov took de Richemont’s gestural paintings of “the human nongender form” and transformed them into a pattern that appeared in an easy yellow dress made from a high-twist cotton fabric with a light weight perfect for summer. De Richemont’s faces also appeared as embroidery on a couple of woven button-down shirts, done in colorful yarns. “Last season I started experimenting with woven material, and this season we wanted something a bit more hand-done,” Zankov said. Also new was a great pair of wide-leg chinos. For spring-summer 2023, Zankov was also inspired by Ukrainian Jewish artists who share his heritage, like Sonia Delaunay, Louise Nevelson, Kazimir Malevich, and Aleksei Kruchenykh. “I never want to be literal; instead I pulled from what’s inspiring about the visual language of each artist,” he said. That resulted in a fantastic geometric pattern done in shades of aquamarine and indigo that was digitally printed on a very fine rib and turned into a swingy button-down shirt and skirt. “I want everything to feel really, really light but also be strong visually,” said Zankov. A knit tank and matching long shorts in an orange terry with thin red and white stripes achieved that goal, as did a horizontal short-sleeve top with a zipper at the neck and banded sleeves in shades of bright green, canary yellow, orchid, black, and white. Zankov’s signature blocks of color appeared on an oversized sweater, a pair of shorts, and a short-sleeve maxidress whose secret seemed to lie in the orchid color that appeared on half the ribbed neckline. “I know the color’s right when it feels joyful,” he said, and there was no shortage of joy to be found in this collection.
As the festive season is approaching, I will be sharing curated selections of my favourite brands’ items here and there. With over 15 years’ experience in the industry, Henry Zankov launched his eponymous label to inject a sense of playfulness and fun into knitwear. The way he juxtaposes natural fibers with highly technical yarns to create a clean, minimal surface is something to behold. Here are my three favourite knits from the label’s current collection, all perfect for a present under the Christmas tree. Or just wear a Zankov piece while decorating one!
Collages by Edward Kanarecki.
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