“Take shelter under my tongue, I’ll tell you what I hear, I’m everything you want to be and all that you fear” – Lynette Yiadom-Boakye for Wales Bonner
Grace Wales Bonner pays homage to her mixed roots through a subtle yet powerful collection that stoodout for its elegance and unpretentious opulence. Thinking back to her half-English, half-Jamaican identity, she drawn inspiration from West Indian arrivals in UK and the eclectic richness they brought to the country. The show was conceived as a story in three chapters, each of them featuring different but related characters: effeminate exotic models of Reinassance paintings, spiritual figures in all-white robes, and 1970s Jamaican dancehalls’ aficionados, all walking in circle around around a towering Notting Hill Carnival sound systems placed in the middle of the room. Harlequin leathers, twisted fabric headwear made in collaboration with Stephen Jones, and velvet sequinned suits in Medieval style opened the show. With remarkable skills, she infused the power of street-preachers and populist religious characters into refined streetwear by giving to jersey tracksuits, long white linen and lace dresses a contemporary and holy look at once, while crinkled shirts worn by men on the streets of Dakar served as a starting point to redefine casual formalwear.