Fashion designer BIANCA SAUNDERS presented the Fall Winter 2023.24 Collection with a show held today at the ongoing Paris Fashion Week. For the Playwork collection, a parallel sensibility lies at the heart. A meditation on the discrepancies between a viewer’s initial response to an object or space, and the plural perspectives that reveal themselves upon its animation, garments are envisioned as dynamic framing devices for their wearers. This season also features a sophomore capsule of pieces from Bianca’s partnership with leather experts Ecco, as part of AT-Kollektive.
Central to this season’s proposal is a continuation of Bianca’s exploration of the malleability of perception – how first appearances give way to layered meanings and ways of seeing. Familiar garments – a squaring denim jacket with frayed seams, a grey wool suit trouser, an écru rib knit sweater – reveal themselves to be anything but common, artfully manipulated though twisted lines, mind-boggling prints and subtly uncanny proportions. A knee-grazing bomber in black technical nylon turns to the side to reveal a swooping carapace of a silhouette, a result of a back hem that lurches up to reveal the lower back. The bowed legs of indigo denim and papery brown leather trousers are achieved by seams that swirl out from the inner thigh, and the buttons of satin carcoats are swapped out for satin lingerie fastening. – from Bianca Saunders
While tailoring has long been a pillar of Bianca’s design vocabulary, this season brings particularly remarkable innovations in formalwear. An architectural suit jacket is reimagined with playful nuance. Constructed with a crisp draped shoulder – the designer’s signature – its kite-shaped lapels are stretched out, its collar entirely removed. The neckline remains the focus for a complementary white satin shirt – or placketless tunic, rather – with its folded collar fastening along the shoulder. Elsewhere, voluminous wool greatcoats feature gathered pleats down the left breast, creating the illusion of an insouciant hunch. Prints riff on Bianca’s extensive exploration of the possibilities of trompe l’oeil. The fuzz of raw wool fleece appears on silk shirts, and lurid visuals of curtain drapes – inspired by the defamiliarised material textures of Louise Giovanelli’s paintings – appear on jersey twinsets. Elsewhere, lysergic streaks appear on wide-leg trousers and pleat-fronted shirting – distorting perceptions of where a seam or a print begins or ends – and abstracted stills from Oliver At Large are transposed onto easy-wearing sweaters, tees and trackpants. – from Bianca Saunders