Menswear is currently experiencing a renaissance—quite literally, in fact, when you look at it through the eyes of fast-rising UK designer Grace Wales Bonner. Abandoning the traditional power silhouette, her vision is all about a slender, fluid, romantic masculinity—a Renaissance man for the 21st century.
Returning to the London runway with her Fall/Winter 2017 collection on January 8, decoration featured strongly with a mix of Swarovski crystals and natural precious and semi-precious stones. She used these elements to embellish a distinctive and diverse cast of characters inspired by 70s Jamaican dancehall and white-robed spiritual figures. Moving around a central stack of speakers that recalled carnival sound systems and religious street preachers, willowy boys wore knits beaded into checkerboards with thousands of natural stones highlighted with crystal Rondelles. Dark, sumptuous Renaissance velvet came studded with metal and exquisitely ornate crystal trelliswork. A single nude chiffon glove featuring lavish crystal embroidery contrasted starkly with a simple white tunic and trousers. Continuing the play between different definitions of preciousness, leather pendants, rings and drop earrings were made up of Swarovski Gemstone’s natural stones—Dalmatian jasper, yellow jade, black obsidian, moonstone, and natural quartz. The highly worked yet relaxed and earthy mood was capped with loose Swarovski-beaded turbans created in collaboration with milliner Stephen Jones.