For Bianca Saunders, her love for her Jamaican heritage will always shine through her collections. The London-based Jamaican always had a creative side growing up. Through encouragement from her parents, she decided at 14 that she wanted to be a designer. With a push from a tutor, she went down the menswear path and even designed a men's collection for her BA inspired by the men in her family who were in a funk band. This is where she was able to determine her aesthetic. Upon finishing school Saunders was able to establish her name in the fashion industry. Winning The 32nd Andam Grand Prix Fashion Award in 2021 cemented her within the industry. Bianca has become a household name and an inspiration for Black designers. This past May she hit the Met Gala red carpet with the King of R&B Usher with him wearing a suit designed by her. Keep your eye on her, she's going to keep doing great things. For vibrant SS24 collection is inspired by iconic Jamaican musician and producer Lee "Scratch" Perry.
"Perry was a Jamaican producer and music artist, but he also did artwork, and a lot of his work is based around collages and found objects, and him exploring how to place these objects in a way that makes sense to him. There is a Basquiat approach to his work, but it's different, being steeped in religion and Jamaican iconography, animal motifs, and mottos such as 'good over evil'. Said, Saunders.
This season Bianca reunited with the British menswear brand Farah. She was able to explore the brand's archive to find the creativity needed for her SS24 collection. Seeing pieces from the 70s and 80s that she reimagined for this collection. Hopsack which is a quintessential Farah weave was used to recreate the casual button-up jacket and trousers in light sand. While its appearance looks like denim, the lightweight fabric technique is, rather, made for warm summer nights.
"Working with Bianca on the SS24 collection has been a pleasure. She manages to blend a concept that is close to her and her brand along with references from Farah's rich archive, utilizing our hopsack fabrication which is synonymous with our history. We believe in Bianca's vision and wish to continue to work with her on these highly creative projects.” Says Chris O'Brien, Global Head of Design & Concept, Farah.
Paying close attention to the body is one of Saunders's strong suits. This allowed her to create a 26-piece collection that features silhouettes that are breezy and oversized including a pair of wide-leg trousers featuring an elasticated waistband in calming aqua blue or nutmeg, while a loose-fitted cotton vest is cut asymmetrically at the chest, alluding to a slouchy style. Shirting, too, is oversized, using the brand's signature shoulder seam lines that accentuate the torso. Graphic T-shirts, influenced by Perry's scrapbook-style artworks, as well as mystical imaginings of the solar system and, a constant theme throughout SS24, the "good over evil” statement Saunders was initially drawn in by; a reassuring message of hope amongst the chaos, reflected in the sedative spirit of the collection.