“It happened quite organically — you never really [have] time to sit still while you’re in the middle of a roller coaster,” creative director Elza Wandler told WWD of the collection’s inception. “The brand is five years old, and before COVID-19 it was two years — we really didn’t have time before to look back and think about the direction we’d like to take. During the pandemic we spoke about the entire brand and I talked about making an entire world — really building a look. That seemed a bit big at the time, which is why I started the leather trousers. It felt like a good step and test case to how people would respond, and since leather is the core of the brand [in accessories], it felt natural. The response online from the client was so good — I think women enjoyed the fits, which is everything in clothing. It’s similar to shoes, you want to feel beautiful. The response was so positive, so I felt I could either carry on as I am, or unfold this — I chose the second.”
Following the successful soft launch of the label’s first assortment of leather and denim trousers with a select number of retail partners and through the brand’s e-commerce platform last September, Wandler said expanding the handbag and footwear-driven Wandler world was a natural next step.
“The idea of this season was, we have those trousers, let’s build on top of them with some tops and go from there, and the next fashion week we will do a bigger rtw collection. But then you start designing and get excited, getting fabrics — before you know it a top becomes a dress, and before you know it you’re looking at the most expensive Italian silks. You’re in the middle of a candy store, more or less. This collection came together by building, it wasn’t intentionally meant to be this big,” Wandler said.
The robust lineup, which includes 50 looks made up of more than 100 pieces are designed for the “woman who wants to have something distinctive and stands out, but is still elegant and feminine.”
Spring offers versatile, modern fashions in a range of Italian silk, silk organza and silk blends, lambskin leather, pure cotton, crochet and knit styles across dresses, tops, outerwear, trousers and skirts. Wandler said fabrications, especially the transparency styles, were loosely based on Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” for its pureness, while Wandler’s personal style — as well as the versatile wardrobing of her friends and colleagues — influenced the lineup’s sleek silhouettes and optimistic palette.
The bright hues — shades of light pink, lavender, greens and orange with grounding neutrals — were pulled directly from the collection’s matching handbag and footwear offering, which was developed ahead of the rtw due to the leather goods’ production lead time. The same ethos spans across the daywear silhouettes’ clean architecturally minded shapes, unexpected details and playful spirit. For instance, there was spring’s light brown leather dress, which Wandler dubbed luxurious yet quirky and fun; a boxy lilac blouse with bright orange trousers, or a three-way striped cotton knit top in shades of green. Aside from the knits, which were produced in Belgium, the entire line was said to be stitched in Amsterdam, where the label is based.
“I think with clothing, if you want to go with a full look or pick and choose one piece, it should inform how you want to style them. The collection gives a possibility to do that. I hope women feel drawn to that part, as well,” Wandler said. “If they don’t want to go for a full-color look, maybe you take the green organza blouse and style it with something beige or black, but that green blouse will never be screaming. That is important in the design language.”
The Wandler spring collection, priced at the emerging designer and advanced contemporary category from $340 for tops up to $2,400 for leather jackets, will be sold in Paris starting Saturday. Following spring, Wandler aims to produce two collections a year, divided into drops, while dreaming of an even bigger Wandler world with runway shows and brick-and-mortar stores.