A few collections is all it took for Grace Wales Bonner to achieve the kind of tremendous notoriety one often only dreams of reaching. Last January, the British designer won the LVMH 2016 prize for emerging talent, succeeding to Marques’Almeida, and was named « Emerging Menswear Designer » by the British Fashion Council two years ago. The award came in 24 hours after her Fall/Winter 2017 London show, shedding more light on the designer’s potential.
Through Spirituals II, Grace Wales Bonner explores different eras, different languages, different styles. Her season honors the travelers, pilgrims, migrants of the world and celebrates their essential and common energy that contributes to galvanize the countries and cultures that welcome them.
Warms and bright colors, straight from the streets of Dakar, rule over silk sportswear jackets and shoes, halfway between urban shoes and sandals. Zebra and leopard patterns conquer the streets of Paris and London, find their perfect match with leather, checkered, or harlequins pants, inspired by the prosperous Florence era. Renaissance spreads its wings into Jamaica. And as linen silhouettes with androgynous lines seize the streets of Kingston, creamy white double-breasted blazers leave Savile Row and head straight for the West Indian sun.
Born in London to an English mother and a Jamaican father, Grace Wales Bonner grew up with a mixed-heritage and a cross-culture background in which she finds her inspiration, in a broad sense. Music, jazz, movies, Blaxploitation films especially, literature, paintings (with artists like Kerry James Marshall): all these creative fields allow the British designer to explore her mixed-heritage as well as give black culture more visibility. Today, she’s quite simply considered one of the top designers of her generation.