25th January 2022

Bianca Saunders AW22

Georgia Hambury takes a look at the debut show at Paris Fashion Week

Last week, Catford-born British fashion designer and curator, Bianca Saunders, arrived in Paris to present her AW22 collection and debut catwalk show at the iconic Palais de Tokyo for Paris Fashion Week.  Since graduating with a master’s degree in Menswear Design from the Royal College of Art in 2017, Saunders has continued her examination of black male identities through garment construction and non-conforming feminine details that challenge hyper-masculine stereotypes.  In turn, that innovative philosophy towards male fashion has been the primary driver behind the continued success of the brand.

For her debut at PFW, she created thirty timeless looks to expand further on her philosophies on menswear.  Opening the show was an optical illusion co-ord that mirrored the female form with cinching at the waist and an outward flow towards the hips.  The almost rubbed graphite-like checked pattern guided the eyes through the experience over and over again.

Strong graphic elements are a notable feature of the new collection, perhaps leaning towards influences from her graphic-designer uncle.  Sometimes patterns created static displays of elusive movement that mimicked solar flares against a night sky.  Experimentations in cut, colour and shape were also on display with the signature construction on the shoulders of the olive leather jacket and cherry red wool trench coat.

Elsewhere, whereas traditional male design usually dictates that sleeves should reach all the way down to the big wrist bone, Saunders added another layer to her deconstruction of classical masculinity by both over-exposing and covering her cast’s hands and wrists to add an undercurrent of vulnerability to the looks.  Tailoring was where the nod to traditional forms came.  Suits and coats had a strong, angular masculinity to them, but were softened with easy flowing trousers and clean and considered lines.

This debut serves to confirm, that following on from her ANDAM Award in last year, Bianca Saunders is already set to follow in the prestigious footsteps of past winners like Martin Margiela and Anthony Vaccerello.


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