Grace Wales Bonner graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2014. Her graduate collection Afrique won the L’Oréal Professionnel Talent Award, her dissertation Black on Black achieved the Dean’s personal commendation. Wales Bonner debuted Ebonics A/W 15 with Fashion East at London Collections: Men to critical acclaim. After her first season, she was invited to the V&A’s prestigious Fashion in Motion programme. Her work explores representations of black male sexuality and identity. Informed by broad research which encompasses critical theory, composition, literature, and historical sources, Wales Bonner attempts to explore the notion of luxury via a hybrid of European and African approaches.
Bonner’s FW16 collection weaves a common thread: in-depth, informed, historical sources. Bonner’s vision is consistent. She creates next level with an elevated collection informed by thoughtful cultural and social reference. Her tiailoring is predominant throughout while flamboyant flares puddled at the boots. Suede coats and velvet suits interjected sporadically, keeping the concept alive, while accessories embellished with Swarovski crystals and cowrie shells showed that jewellery ain’t just for the girls – considered gender fluidity at work. Flowing silk shirts and tight crotches and trouser cuts extended on notions of sex and sexuality.