adidas Originals and WALES BONNER – Essence
Latisha Fleckenstein gets a taste of Jamaican dancehall with adidas Originals and WALES BONNER
In a continued artistic quest to explore the connection between Britain and the Caribbean, adidas Originals and WALES BONNER reunite once again for a new S/S2021 collection titled, Essence. First previewed during Men’s Paris Fashion Week in September 2020, the collection builds on Bonner’s continued exploration of luxury sports wear from an Afro-Atlantic perspective. The new collection sees Wales Bonner infuse her own distinctive design language with familiar, iconic adidas looks. The apparel offering features reimagined 70s era pieces, with shorts, t-shirts, and tracksuits that have been elevated with vintage cuts, rich ribs, mesh and check prints. The rich references inspired by the early 80s origination of dancehall in Jamaica are explored across the intersection between tailoring and sportswear. All the time we are taken on this journey through the echoes of past decades, ever present are the contemporary elements to the collection that ground us in the relevancy and immediacy of the present
Of particular interest this season, redefining British tailoring has been a key focal point for Wales Bonner and, more specifically, the pushing gender boundaries and norms whilst doing so. Clean lines on satins and silks, cinched waists and decorated hems highlight specific elements of gender fluidity throughout the collaboration with adidas. Bonner also energetically explores colourful designs with the use of diverse textures such as crochet, mesh and check prints to add a unique sense of dimension to the quintessentially British staples.
Also seen are reinventions of the Samba and Nizza sneakers, featuring new leathers and suede details. Chosen for its rich footballing heritage, the classic Wales Bonner Samba sneaker silhouette comes in two new and striking colourways, black/prime green and white/mono yellow, recalling elements of the Jamaican national flag. Meanwhile, the Nizza sneaker is carefully crafted with co-branded details throughout and is available in three new colourways.
Rounding out the new project, the accompanying campaign for the collaboration was shot by director Jeano Edwards in the heart of Jamaica. Here he uses distinctive still landscapes, candid streets and grass fields to, literally, capture the essence by which the collection was first conceived. The campaign features a number of carefully composed scenes the show the lives of young Jamaican protagonists as they play football and ride horses at celebrated Caymanas Park – Jamaica’s one and only horse racing track. Stylishly sporting the newest collection to sounds of reggae, eighties dancehall, gospel and spoken word, the film is an invitation into an elegant and vibrant culture that has long embraced the functionality of iconic sportswear brands like adidas.
To watch the adidas Originals and WALES BONNER campaign film, click here.
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