Aaron Potts is originally from Detroit and is now a bonafide Brooklynite –originally coming to NYC chasing a dream like so many others before him. His was fashion and he studied at Parsons and followed that with working with highly esteemed brands like Ungaro and Escada before striking out on his own.
For his collection he chose to not use models but another group of people who come to NYC seeking a dream: dancers. And not just any dancers but dancers from the prestigious Alvin Ailey company. While I wish the short video was 4x in length, showing the collection via dancers allows us to really see the volume and flow of the pieces.
Potts recently told The Georgetowner “The gender-neutral thing is very important to me, because I believe in making beautiful shapes and beautiful pieces that people can identify with. There are two things that I look at. One of them is that I thought a lot about people of different sizes. I’m a big guy, I’m 6-foot-2, so one of the things I thought a lot about was how I wanted to create something that people of all sizes could wear. And if someone gains 10 pounds or someone loses 10 pounds, you don’t have to throw away your wardrobe because you have these pieces that look great and have a little grace in the fit.
The other thing is, I look at clothes as sculpture and how you create these shapes around the body that form these beautiful silhouettes, no matter what angle you’re looking at them from. The silhouettes that have volume or, as I like to say, silhouettes that have air in them, look like sculpture. They look elegant and chic and can be made in the simplest of fabrics. But the volume, the cut and the drape add a level of sophistication.”
This came through clear in this collection. The minimal color palette also allows us to really see the pieces and I love the contrast of the electric yellow against the darker gray.
From Cleveland, Ohio and based in New York City, Chelsea Grays uses her designs to make political statements. She went to graduate school The Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and has been able to show her work created in school in several New York Fashion Week shows.
Grays’ FW ‘21 collection is titled “Homage to 2020.” The Daily Beast writes that the collection had, “…references to police brutality, protesting, coronavirus, and voting. There was a rugged, dystopian approach to the clothing.” The collection features a fairly neutral-toned color palette, with several white scarves and a few plaid pieces. A few of the looks had bright red pieces, possibly symbolizing a bright future.
A few standout pieces included a multicolored ripped smock with a turtleneck, a clean plaid jacket paired with a white scarf, and a bright red sweater paired with the same scarf and a pair of plaid pants.
Ka Wa Key is an East London based label that uses sustainable materials to reconceptualize the traditions of textile crafts. Bringing together casualwear and knitwear with roots of Asian and Scandinavian heritage, the gender-fluid line uses ethical sourcing and manufacturing to bring about their vision of simplicity meets soft masculinity.
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS (AW 2021)
The collection observes the duality of the imagination and reality inspired by larger than life characters and their dual personalities. Characters like Willy Wonka, Moira Rose, Peter Pan, Mad Hatter are just a few to mention.
Through their AW21 collection, KA WA KEY reflects the imaginative worlds they’ve visited and characters they’ve met during the past year, which has been rather different and even scary at times. TV and music have been a huge inspiration and has offered an escape from reality, opportunity to meet different personalities who have given us hope and a variety of amazing places to visit. KA WA KEY wants to thank all the creatives and artist who have created content and entertainment to get us through these unexpected times. Without you, the times would have been much darker.
The collection is a combination of reconstructed pieces including pullovers, button ups, loose pants, soft sweaters and winter accessories–many of which are layered together to de-emphasize the body’s silhouette, leaving gender behind and achieving their soft masculine vision. The inspiration of Alice in Wonderland is clear, many of these pieces are within the same eccentric and colorful world of Alice. The use of a range of stripes, plaid prints, and the abstract dying of clothes mixes grunge with the fantasmic inspo. The video of the collection in place of a show was peculiar and mesmeric, giving hints of Lynchian aesthetics–how the models communicate and move is uncannily similar to how those in the “red room” of Twin Peaks.
PH5 is a women’s experimental knitwear brand founded by Wei Lin in 2014, and designed by Parsons graduate Zoe Champion. The brand has an edgy, androgynous feel with a touch of femininity. With sustainable values and the interest of redefining knitwear in mind, PH5 aims to combine fashion with technology in order to create valuable pieces.
Presented as a lookbook, PH5 unveiled their FW ‘21 collection on February 15th, entitled “Sinking Into Our Surroundings.” Creative director Zoe Champion (assisted by Wei Lin) explains that this was a very personal project, highlighting her own experience with mental health during the pandemic. The patterns of these clothes and the way they are draped across the body are reminiscent of blankets or pockets, and hold the idea of comfort.
Champion told Fashionality, “For this particular season I wanted to take all of the comforts of my interiors outside, but in a way that encouraged me to dress up and begin engaging with the outside world again.”
Plaid is a constant throughout this collection, as well as a mix of bright, striking colors contrasting with darker shades. A few highlights include a green and pink jacket-dress combo, a sweater and skirt combining neutral brown shades with a bright teal, and a plaid bright orange and white dress with a swirled pattern.
Maison Atia is the first luxury faux fur line that mixes modern styling with traditional faux fur techniques. The label aims to be conscious and zero-waste, using all fabric leftover from coat production to create accessories; and for what can’t be used into a creation, the company works with FabScrap to recycle leftovers.
Maison Atia’s AW’21 collection brings back 60s mod. Drawing inspiration from icons of the time like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton, Swinging London is clearly visible throughout the silhouettes. The collection has a mix of pastels, dark neutrals and a few artful patterns. The range of outerwear includes fur variations of the peacoat, trench, duffle to name a few; along with matching accessories like bags and headwear. This collection also featured upcycled fabrics from their archives.