Sparks Joy. Zankov SS23

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!

Zankov jacquard-knit tank made from organic cotton.

Zankov striped merino wool midi dress in forest green.

Zankov – Kevin Paneled Jacquard-knit Organic Cotton T-shirt – Red

Collages by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!

P.S. In this post, I happen to endorse products I genuinely love. If you end up buying something through the links, my site might earn an affiliate commission – which is always nice!

NET-A-PORTER Limited

Groovy. The Elder Statesman Resort 2023

There’s only one place in Paris where you can stand over a pool of koi and under a glittering disco ball. Dragons Elysées is a Chinese restaurant that delights in kitsch – and can hold, as a nighttime The Elder Statesman presentation proved, a surprising number of revelers. Even in the brand’s thick knits on a humid Parisian day, the guests didn’t have a lick of sweat beading. Just one way Bailey Hunter, the creative director, is innovating at the Los Angeles-based label. The other way is that she is bringing the vibes back to one of fashion’s vibiest brands. Throughout the pandemic, founder Greg Chait took immense pride in the way The Elder Statesman was innovating and bringing most of its operations in-house. A new yarn-spinning technique, he said during his Paris event, would take at least a week to understand. But for all the ways the label reimagines its lightweight wovens, its groovy patterned knits, and its hand-done embroidery, crocheting, and dyeing, the special sauce of TES is its mood. That radiated during this crowded Parisian show. Chait and Hunter should stick with the idea and bring their party-presentations to more locations around the globe.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!

NET-A-PORTER Limited

Vibrant Vibes. The Elder Statesman AW22

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.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

NET-A-PORTER Limited

E-Girl Knitwear. Paolina Russo AW22

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.

Elevate your wardrobe with some Paolina Russo greatness right now: Paolina Russo SSENSE Exclusive knitted skirt, Paolina Russo SSENSE Exclusive t-shirt, Paolina Russo SSENSE Exclusive bucket hat & Paolina Russo SSENSE Exclusive bralette.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Zankov Knitwear

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!

And here are some of my favourite Zankov knits you can get now: Samuel striped knitted cardigan in blue, Dale striped knitted sweater in green, Franken knitted sweater in yellow and Zeke striped sweater in red.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.