At this year’s Pitti Uomo, Grace Wales Bonner showcased that she has no intention of slowing down as each season is more blissful than the last. But what continuously stands out about the British fashion designer’s creations is the infusion of culture as a mainstay, not an accessory. The latest collection continues this cadence with an exhibition rooted in the African diaspora and European heritage.
Setting the stage for the Spring/Summer 2023 show was Florence’s famed Renaissance palace, the Palazzo Medici Riccardi. But to bridge cultures, the space featured an installation by Ghanian artist Ibrahim Mahama with jute sacks hand-stitched together by local collaborators to showcase the history of migration, commodity and globalization. The commemoration of hand-craftsmanship extends to the poetic collection through beaded macrame dresses, Burkina Faso hand-dyed jerseys and silk jacquard opera coats developed by the House of Charvet in Paris.
Standing out in the collection are black cashmere tuxedos, both belted and button-closure jackets with contrasting fabric sleeves, a cobalt blue suede jacket with silver rivets and a camel hair coat made with Savile Row tailors Anderson and Sheppard. Tops like lightweight sweater vests and elevated shirting are reimagined with elongated constructions, blue-tone stripes, semi-sheer silks, taupe pinstripes and panel detailing.
Elsewhere in the collection is the brand’s t-shirt collaboration with renowned American artist Kerry James Marshall, new offerings from adidas Originals by Wales Bonner and sportswear done up in metallic silver with patent leather football boots. Another highlight of the collection is the introduction of the Wales Bonner footwear collection featuring zebra cowhide mules, snakeskin sandals and cheetah-print slip-ons.
Check out the gallery above for a look at the Wales Bonner SS23 collection.