Labrum Takes Us On A Journey With SS21 Collection

‘The Cotton Tree’ is a story of Sierra Leone’s heritage, aesthetics and symbolism.

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After demonstrating that new isn’t always better with its Fall/Winter collection, Labrum takes us on a journey into the past to tell a story of heritage, aesthetics and symbolism for Spring/Summer 2021.

The Cotton Tree — more commonly known as a kapok tree — is a historic symbol of the capital city of Sierra Leone, Freetown. According to legend, the “Cotton Tree” gained importance in 1792 when a group of former African American slaves who had gained their freedom by fighting for the British during the American War of Independence, settled in the site of modern Freetown.

Upon landing on the shoreline, they walked up to a giant tree just above the bay where they held a Thanksgiving service, gathering around in a large group, praying and singing hymns to thank God for their deliverance to a free land on the soil of liberty and freedom.

This season, in honour of the Cotton Tree, traditional tailoring with a utilitarian attitude takes its cues from British army silhouettes alongside traditional West African formalwear, identifiable by intricate prints detailing.

A commissioned artwork by Alice Von Maltzahn is found digitally printed onto linen herringbone, whereby the artist took inspiration from the Sierra Leone national flag as the starting point for the drawings which reference earth (green), sea (blue) and spirit (white).

The Cotton Tree Jacket in particular conveys the story through its design; the clasp fastener represents the tree’s roots, reinforcing their importance in the structure of the garment and within the country’s ecosystem. Buttons are crafted from ceramic and coconut shells.

Labrum’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection is set to launch early next year, but it’s FW20 collection is available to buy from the brand’s online webstore.

In other news, Dutch label Lack of Guidance have dropped their new graphic-heavy FW20 collection.

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