Grace Wales Bonner, a 25-year-old fashion designer who grew up in South East London, with an English mother, and Jamaican father. Call her a new comer, or “Fresh Meat” onto the British fashion scene if you may, but regardless of that – Bonner’s profoundly, personal collections, have already made a mark, and earned her the hotly-contested LVMH prize of €300,000, and a year-long mentorship.
Bonner’s perspective towards clothing, or her clothing in particular, is that she focuses on portraying the various renders of masculine identity, heavily enriched cultural references, and the African American male sexuality.
Her Spring Summer 2017 collection was a dedication to the 1930 crowing of Haile Selassie as emperor of Ethiopia. It merged ceremonial, military, and religious attire. Call it a submerged political act, but her pieces spoke a language of their own. A sheer reflection of Sundays best, monochrome, and austere – it was about the finest of tailoring, and the most formal. From tailcoats, frocks, to single breasted jackets, and narrow trousers.
Alongside the technical aspect of the tailored pieces, Bonner involved a colossal mesh of the East, and West of Africa, not to forget the Caribbean using embellishments of crystals shells, subtle touches of handicrafts, embroideries, and crochet.
The tempered use of crystals, and such embellishments are elements only used to portray Bonner’s play at sexuality, at the same time, she’s not one to tally along to the whole removal of gender in fashion matter (Although I’m fully supportive of it).
It’s the feminine, and flamboyant aspect of a man that she’s trying to depict. That, amongst many other reasons is why Grace Wales Bonner is one of the few designers that you should keep a look out for in the next coming seasons.