Bianca Saunders explores identity through her collections. As a menswear designer specifically the male experience, and further, that of her Black Caribbean background. For Autumn/Winter 2020 she was inspired by Jamaican dance hall culture from the ‘90s and it was reflected in her clever presentation. Instead of models on a runway she had young men dancing in a row, partitioned off with blue satin curtains so they can’t see those on either side. She wanted them to dance as though no one was watching and the result was something that felt simultaneously personal and performative.
The movement of the clothes has always been an important point for Saunders – not an assumption or afterthought – and her thoughtful tailoring and draping reflect this. Pant seams curve outward, trousers that allow for cinching in the back and drawstrings make it possible for the wearer to modify the fit as needed. The denim used was sponsored by Isko, a certified producer of organic and recycled material, based in Turkey and the boys dance in square-toed moccasins with recycled uppers by accessory designer Hernán Guardamagna.
As it states on her website, Saunders pushes to create cultural exchanges through garments, sound and film. When people question if “we need more fashion designers” in this period of over production and over consumption, Bianca Saunders’ work affirms that there is always space for those talented few willing to upend the status quo.
top photo by Sarah Fassold