Grace Wales Bonner continued her trilogy of collections that seek to examine the cultural threads between Britain and the Caribbean, with this collection being the final installment in the series.
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While her Fall/Winter 2020 collection addressed the Jamaican British community of London in the 1970s and her Spring/Summer 2021 collection unveiled a mixed wardrobe inspired by dancehall music in the 1980s in Jamaica, this new season immersed us in the community of black British intellectuals and artists from the Caribbean, India and West Africa, whose work and writings advanced postcolonial discourse within both improvised community settings and established academic institutions.
In her new collection, dubbed ‘’Black Sunlight’’, Grace Wales Bonner referred to the works of Caribbean poet Kamau Brathwaite and Nobel laureate Derek Walcott but also to the work of Pamela Roberts’ Black Oxford project which traces the stories of black Africans to Oxford University.
Here, the designer began by exploring the wardrobes of black British academics in the 1980s: those who traveled from across the world to study at the likes of Oxford and Cambridge. She revisited them with her quirky aesthetic and effortless elegance that has undeniably reigned over her collections since 2014.
So there were tuxedos in mismatched stripes made in collaboration with Anderson & Sheppard, hand-printed shirts created with artist Joy Gregory, mismatched and off-kilter combinations in vibrant colors and patterns, pieces combining streetwear and couture Savile Row and those enhanced with Indian embroidery and hand crochet that evoke an artisanal and worldly spirit.
The collection presented also a continued partnership between Wales Bonner and adidas Originals, offering a timeless wardrobe of Collegiate leisurewear, and low profile sneakers in luxurious leathers and playful nylon.
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