South East London-born Grace Wales Bonner graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2014. After winning the L’Oréal Professionnel Talent Award for her graduate ‘Afrique’ collection, she assisted Camilla Nickerson in New York, debuted her AW15 collection at Fashion East at London Collections: Men to critical acclaim, and was subsequently invited to the V&A’s prestigious Fashion in Motion programme. Charmed by the aesthetics of menswear over womenswear, Wales Bonner collections are rooted in historical references and explore representations of black male identity and sexuality. With a cross-cultural hybrid approach, Bonner explores the masculine/feminine dialogue; creating pieces that fuse European and African luxury fashions and explore the notion of masculinity.
Wales Bonner approaches her AW16 collection with her established thematic narrative; exploring African histories and constructing a modern discourse rooted in evocation. Continuing her experiment with dress codes of wealth, sports and modern-day signifiers, the line-up features crushed velvet jackets, athletic striped T-shirts, double-breasted blazers and wool tracksuits which are delicately paired with diamante pendant earrings and crystal embellishments. Psychedelic Afrofuturists and 1970s and 1870s influences are fused to create a collection of flared pants, thin neck scarves, tailored jackets and zigzag knit tank tops.
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