Bianca Saunders | AW19

by Remi Akande


Fashion January 11, 2019

Quickly becoming one of UK’s must-watch young designers, Bianca Saunders, presented another thought-provoking collection on the final day of London Fashion Week Men’s.

The home of Matches Fashion new Mayfair creative hub, 5 Carlos Place, played host to the RCA graduate’s AW19 collection and delved deeply into the topic of identity, with focus on what it means to be Black, British and living in London today, drawing on Saunder’s own cultural heritage.

Entitled “Unravelling”, the presentation of the collection explored the feminine side of the black male identity in the expanse of the most intimate setting, the bedroom. To execute her concept Saunders chose this location in order to emphasise her subjects’ wholesome state in a place where they feel most open and able to self-express themselves through different patterns, garments and styles.                                

Saunders delves here into a world of vulnerability, with features such as twisted seams, shirring and elastics to portray a feeling that we are living in a world oversaturated with representations of a hypermasculine black male. The theme continues from her AW18 narrative, which examined the sexuality and gender expectations of London’s young men and shows the designers personal growth, with her strongest and most wearable pieces to date.

In her previous project, “Personal Politics”, Saunders found fascination in the way males expressed their sexuality: always afraid of discussing it in an incorrect way, the men relied mainly on styling and silent behaviour. The designer continued this feeling and sustained the tone throughout the current presentation using nylons, leathers, cotton and jersey, which were employed and used so as to resemble the comfort and commodity of one’s home and personal space.

Saunders emphasised a neutral colour palette of black, white and grey, intertwining elements of creasing and creating structural outlines with wider shirt sleeves and narrowed silhouettes.

Blurring the gender boundaries, the designer was oscillating between feminine outfits, including cuffed white joggers and a matching top with oversized shoulders and clashing with masculine aspects, with a shirtless model wearing a wool overcoat with wide-leg trousers.

This is a collection that will once again raise the stock and profile of Saunders to another level. Already garnering a huge industry buzz, this collection could be the one that takes her into the eyes of a wider and more mainstream audience. Although a menswear designer, there are already huge cries for her to venture into womenswear, with her designs so versatile and wearable for all.

The young designer is definitely leading the way and flying the flag for the new generation of black, British designers.

Alongside the Bianca Saunder presentation, Carlos Place hosted three LFWM presentations as the townhouse top floor space showed a preview of Ludovic de Saint Sernin collection, ahead of Paris Fashion Week, while the ground floor was filled with Boramy Viguier’s compellingly creepy medical-technical streetwear.


 Remi Akande | Writer | @remiakande
Annemarie Sterian | Photographer | @annemariesterian 

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