Bianca Saunders spring/summer 2019 collection presentation for LFWM
Bianca Saunders, a menswear designer born and based in London, continues to explore black male identity within the British culture and challenge the stereotypes of hyper-masculinity, a journey that started with her autumn/winter 2018 collection. This seasonal offering, titled Gestures, focuses on body language and mannerisms as observed in research films made by the designer. Saunders also turned to her contemporary from the Royal College of Art performance artist Paul Maheke and his piece Unwritten Handbook, for inspiration on using physical portrayals of male identity.
Gestures reflects and focuses intensely on movements, physical gestures and the experience of awkwardness of being in your own clothes. Through fabric manipulation, Saunders has created creases echoing the process of becoming comfortable with the garments one wears. The state of partial undress as a styling choice explores sex appeal, the paradox of the “shy confidence” exuded and played out by the individual during their most intimate moments.
Conceived with an imaginary character in mind – an amalgam of personality traits relating to the designer’s close friend network – the collection presents masculine clothes infused with subtle aspects of femininity. The fabric choices remain familiar, all part of the modern wardrobe: nylons, jersey and cotton shirting. The fits represent the feeling of intimacy. Tops, often tight around the chest, loosen up towards the tail. The pieces offer little movement, unlike the previous collection, where the wearer could alter the garments.
Gestures is an in-depth and emotional examination of the movements that come via the feeling of comfort in your own space, clothing, and the subsequent revelations of the wearers’ identity illustrated through them. Bianca Saunders menswear label is an exploration of surrounding identities and draws heavily on her background growing up in London with West-Indian heritage.
Photos: Kimberley Archer