Wales Bonner Spring-Summer 2024 - Paris Fashion Week Men’s

Wales Bonner Spring/Summer 2024 – Paris Fashion Week Men’s

June 24, 2023
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When the sartorial realm intersects with the world of endurance, an exceptional dialogue emerges. The Wales Bonner Spring/Summer 2024 collection captivates this conversation in its intricately woven narrative, one that unfolds as a tribute to legendary long-distance runners of Ethiopia and Kenya. Imbued with the essence of a journey and the power of unwavering commitment, the collection serves as a testament to the power of the human spirit, weaving a tale of victories, traditions, and, most importantly, an undying pursuit of purpose.

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The extraordinary runners Haile Gebreselassie, Tirunesh Dibaba and Eliud Kipchoge have long resonated with their unstoppable determination, a sentiment gracefully translated into this latest collection by Wales Bonner. The spirit of these runners echoes in every meticulously hand-crafted piece, each symbolizing a tribute to personal quests and the indefatigable perseverance of the human spirit.

It’s a celebration of not just physical, but soulful movement; of the music that our hearts produce when we chase our dreams with fiery passion. The collection hails the art of craftsmanship, the beauty of tradition, and the wisdom of generations. Notably, the Tibeb fabric, skillfully woven by artisans in Addis Ababa, seems to whisper tales of the past and promises of the future, a testament to the time and dedication invested in its creation.

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The collection’s sartorial language incorporates a broad spectrum of elements – from raffia embroidered skirts and vests echoing animalistic motifs, to women’s tailoring adorned with intricate stud and bead stripes. Each article embodies a story, a testament to time-honored skills.

Moreover, the collection conjures visual and sensory delights with elements like macrame net vests and skirts crafted from Ghanaian artisanal glass and sonorous silver, an allusion to the melodious calabash instrument. They culminate into an enchanting symphony of fashion, an unconscious rhythm that lulls the observer into a tranquil flow.

Silhouettes appear, whispering narratives of shepherds and equestrians. Pieces such as check outerwear, rawhide skirts, bouclé knitwear, and Italian-made calfskin riding boots paint a vivid tableau of rustic charm and pastoral poise. Elements like cheetah printed cowhide and horsehair canvas tailoring, an alliance with UGG for sheepskin-lined loafers, contribute to a richly textured repertoire.

The collection holds true to the Wales Bonner signature style while nodding to the glory of athletic endeavours. It doesn’t just echo the past; it propels into the future with radiant blue satin, earthen brown wool, and sportswear finishes juxtaposing British checks and Mac coats. The homage to Haile Gebreselassie’s 2008 Berlin Marathon triumph, with an adidas Neftegna shoe replica showcasing his record-breaking time, is a testament to the inspiring partnership with adidas Originals.

That’s the long distance runner, the quietness is loud too”, as artist David Hammons put it in 1994. This collection resonates with that quote, encapsulating the silent strength and determination of long-distance runners. It isn’t just about fashion; it’s about courage, serenity, balance, and a reminder that the journey matters as much as the destination.

Music also plays a significant role, and the musical programme celebrating mastery and commitment was an auditory feast. James William Blades and Grace Wales Bonner curated the soundscape, which included contributions from Ethiopian artist HaddinQo, Nigerien multi-instrumentalist Hama, and Kenyan artist DJ Boboss. This confluence of diverse musical talents harmoniously blending ancestral grooves and future visions added an extra layer of depth to the show’s narrative.

The emotional pinnacle was arguably the tribute to Abebe Bikila’s epochal 1960 Olympic victory in Rome, marked by Savile Row tailoring created in partnership with Anderson and Sheppard, punctuated by raw silk and woven gold buttons. The moment was more than a celebration of a historical milestone – it was an acknowledgment of Africa’s triumphant stride into the annals of sports history. Luxurious draped satin dresses, ceremonial necklaces in semi-precious carnelian and jade stones, were worn as symbols of courage, tranquility, and balance, further elevating the homage.

The Wales Bonner Spring/Summer 2024 collection was not just a showcase of sartorial artistry but a narrative brought to life through fashion. It delves into the world of sport, tradition, and craftsmanship to translate intangible qualities of resilience, determination, and dedication into tangible form. From the handwoven Tibeb fabric to the sheepskin-lined loafers, from the tribute to long-distance runners to the vibrant musical contributions, the collection serves as a beautiful reminder that fashion can indeed be a powerful language of storytelling.

Read more: Wales Bonner and Kerry James Marshall join forces for a capsule collection

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