There’s always a romantic edge, and a delicacy, to Grace Wales Bonner’s collections, whether she’s designing for men or for women. This season that romance was inspired by mambo and Afro-Caribbean spirituality.
This coed collection is the first from Wales Bonner since she won the 2019 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, an annual prize that comes with 200,000 pounds and industry support, and she used Afro-Cuban dance as her starting point for spring.
Her collection was light and fluid with strong lines and lots of curves. Delicacy and an attention to detail were evident in featherweight crotched polo shirts and stretch cotton guayabera tops with little pleats and embroidery running down the front.
She paired silk pajama tops with a tailored, tobacco colored suit and splashed bright colors from paintings by midcentury Haitian artist Hector Hyppolite onto neckties and bright, boxy shirts.
There was a rigor to the collection, too, in the form of wide-leg military trousers with contrast stitching, elegant black jackets nipped at the waist and others with sturdy patch pockets. Tuxedo trousers were long and lean, as was a sleek track suit, part of a collaboration this season with Adidas.