And Some More Colour. Colville SS21

Colville is a quiet, yet steady player. Its founders Molly Molloy and Lucinda Chambers are industry veterans, but they keep their label – consciously or not – under the radar, as a sort of niche place for the insiders. Besides the designers’ obvious flair for color and print, the more vibrant the better, the unifying principles at Colville, it seems to me, are comfort and joy. As women, Molloy and Chambers know those two things are interlinked; you’ll see a preponderance of upcycled trainers and track pants in these look book pictures. But their dresses, too, have a sensuous ease, tied effortlessly with ribbon at the waist or at the nape of the neck above an exposed upper back. Those shawls, locally sourced and dyed by the Tzotzil ethnic group in the Chiapas region of Mexico, are the collection’s hero pieces: they would wake up any outfit, or home. A jacket pieced from a patchwork of traditional Indian bedspreads is similarly colorful, with the feel of a keepsake or heirloom. The pandemic might have made their work more challenging, with Chambers in London and Molloy in Milan, but their spring-summer 2021 line-up shows no signs. Where other brands are shrinking or outright collapsing, Colville is expanding. “There is a kind of level playing field, where if you’ve got a strong story to tell, you get a voice. And that’s a wonderful thing,” Chambers reflected. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have to chuck at it anymore, you can’t buy your way out of this. It has to be about what you’re making and the love you’re putting into it.” That’s the thing you want to hear and read!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Bold And Sustainable. Colville SS20

 Co-founded by Molly Molloy, Kristin Forss and Lucinda Chambers, Colville – the London/Milan-based brand – is independent, off-kilter and too cool for the traditional fashion industry. Colville is the creative encounter between three different minds and three personal points of view. The trio have worked together at Marni, while Chambers was Consuelo Castiglioni’s longtime stylist and is famous for her sense for eclectic layering. Their spring-summer 2020 collection involved working collaboratively with a Colombian women’s group on charming woven bags, and they’re sourcing vintage silk scarves and old shell jackets from the ’90s and turning them into graceful dresses and  sleeved shrugs. Social responsibility and upcycling are buzzwords that fashion companies use as their marketing ploy. But for Colville, this isn’t a trend. Molloy, Forss, and Chambers are really, truly close to the product. Those are clothes to be worn, cherished, mixed and matched. Clothes that are bold and brave, considered and careful, sensitive and detailed. Colville designer have a soft point for bold floral prints and off-kilter silhouettes (if you worked with Castiglioni, that’s an inheritable trait), like an upside-down shirt whose sleeves drape below the hips and a trompe l’oeil skirt that looks like a folded-over dress. The collection as well features amazing raincoats made from boat sails. Keep this brand on your radar next season, if you’re looking for truly sustainable, bold fashion.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Colville, The Creative Encounter

August is the moment in fashion to discover brands, or at least, refresh your memory on names you haven’t looked at for a while. Colville isn’t this new on the block, but honestly I haven’t had a look at the label since its debut more a year ago. And I’ve got to tell you one thing: it’s doing more than fine. Co-founded by Molly Molloy, Kristin Forss and Lucinda Chambers (whose Instagram-diary is my must-follow), the London-based brand is independent, off-kilter and too cool for the fashion industry. Colville is the creative encounter between three different minds and three personal points of view. A sum, not a mix. The irregular and the imperfect put-together are integral to the outcome: a collection that’s a sum of pieces, that is eclectic and idiosyncratic. Those are clothes to be worn, cherished, mixed and matched. Clothes that are bold and brave, considered and careful, sensitive and detailed. Clothes that are real: addends to a lasting discourse. As the brand’s manifesto says, Colville pieces can be assembled, disassembled, reassembled, following individual whims. It’s about putting the unexpected together. Not one way to wear it, but as many as there are viewpoints. The autumn-winter 2019 collection is just that: a play with proportions, shapes, prints. Fitting together like an imperfect jigsaw puzzle: clashing colors, unlikely partnerships of textures, a touch of craft, tailoring and flou. From the nomad-kind of layers and winter shawls to grungy-meets-hippie knits and florals, you want to have those garments and make them your reality.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.