“I love a theatrical and flamboyant fashion presentation as much as the next person but sometimes, just sometimes, a simple concept delivered beautifully can be the most effective way for a designer to present their clothes.”
Such was the case with Bianca Saunders AW20 “Videolight” collection. Great clothes worn by great looking models dancing to great music. All set in a row of booths which simulated the videos of the collections title. It may have been a simple concept but it was one which was stunningly executed and which showcased the collection in the best imaginable way.
Bianca referenced her British- West Indian heritage through the dancehall parties of the Jamaican diaspora which were often captured for posterity on grainy VHS recordings. Fusing this obsolete technology which warps and distorts imagery with a a signature cutting style which accentuates fluidity of movement and distorts how we view menswear , Bianca produced a collection which succeeded in playing with gender while remaining perceptibly masculine.
Padded jackets had wiring running through them to emphasise the pausing of movement while both Jackets and coats featured a signature shoulder which combined strength and softness. Shoulder pads were also used as a foundation from which flowed beautifully tailored upper wear.
Trousers were similarly expertly tailored with inside seams which curved outwards to evoke a sense of continual movement. Sweatpants bore a double waistband with the elastic forming a kind of ruching, one of the seasons key trends. Some of the shirts also had ruching at the side which elicited a sense of fluidity and contributed to this being a collection imbued with a sense of movement.
Detailing was key throughout the pieces as was a desire for experimentation with super-long waistcoats extending to the knee and T shirts folded and gathered.
A new development was the introduction of accessories, slouchy bags and footwear in collaboration with Bianca’s fellow Royal College of Art alumni Hernan Guardamagna.
Bianca Saunders evolution as a designer since graduating from the RCA three years ago has been one of the British fashion industries recent success stories. AW20 saw this evolution taken to a new level with a collection and accompanying presentation which took us beyond mere fashion and into an exploration of culture, heritage and gender. I’m excited to see where she takes us next.