Grace Wales Bonner continues with the final installment to her trilogy of collections that look to examine cultural threads between Britain and the Caribbean for her eponymous label’s Fall/Winter 2021 offering.
Titled “Black Sunlight,” the Wales Bonner collection “illuminates a world of Caribbean Thought and Black British intellectualism.” By drawing influences from Black Oxford (which details the Black scholars at the lauded Oxford University), the collection looks to the diasporic radical thinkers of the 1980s as a starting point for inspiration. As such, the collection is learning from the academic material these figures from the Caribbean, India and West Africa wrote that subsequently advanced conversations about communities and academic institutions, such as Oxford University.
One figure of particular inspiration is the Saint Lucian poet Derek Walcott, whose language has helped Grace Wales Bonner realize a collection of expression, sophistication and ease. Throughout “Black Sunlight,” you’ll find men’s and womenswear that’s tailored with an air of softness, as tuxedos made in collaboration with Savile Row tailors Anderson & Sheppard are made informal with the use of boating stripes, turned up sleeves and contrasting lapels.
The otherwise un-tailored suiting is equally casual but still maintain a level of excellence, something that’s seen most visibly with Wales Bonner’s tuxedo in navy that has ombre green-to-navy lapels, white turned-up sleeves, and more of a smoking jacket cut. Paired with a striped shirt and wide-fit brown trousers, the overall look is relaxed yet appreciative of its heritage inspiration.
Furthermore, the London-based designer litters paisley, Indian embroidery and hand crocheting into her work to pay respect to artisanal practices and a worldly understanding, with a standout piece being the red tunic-like paisley shirt or the striped scarf that matches a sweater.
The use of shearling, wool, cashmere and leather elevates the collection further, delivering overcoats and jackets or skirts that are made less formal with the continuation of Wales Bonner x adidas Originals. Indeed, the duo’s portfolio expands for FW21, delivering collegiate leisurewear such as the blue track jacket or the blue striped varsity jacket as well as new footwear models, with pairs served in cream, beige, and yellow leather or suede alongside deconstructed and woven elements that were found on the designer’s previous FW20 offering.
Rounding out “Black Sunlight” is a film produced in collaboration with the Jamaican filmmaker Jeano Edwards. Titled The Light of Black Sunlight, the film was shot in Port Antonio and Kingston in Jamaica and London’s Goodenough College and hears Edwards recite Star and Exile by Derek Walcott (1969) from “The Gulf and Other Poems” to the transcendent backing track of Laraaji’s “Essence.”
Wales Bonner’s “Black Sunlight” FW21 collection can be seen in the lookbook above, as can the short film The Light of Black Sunlight. Expect the designer’s collection to launch later this year and her collaboration with adidas Originals to arrive in the coming months.
Elsewhere in the world of fashion, LOEWE FW21 has arrived to disrupt masculinity.
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