Bianca Saunders — “Videolight”

Bian­ca Saun­ders presents a deeply per­son­al col­lec­tion for autumn/winter 2020, both her Black Caribbean roots and also her sig­na­ture cut­ting that cap­tures move­ment in clothes. 

VHS record­ings of dance­hall par­ties led her to con­sid­er the pride and dis­play of danc­ing, as well as how obso­lete tech­nolo­gies warp and morph imagery. Through­out, Bian­ca push­es at gen­der, and inves­ti­gates con­struc­tion to pro­pose fresh ideas for menswear.

“This is a col­lec­tion about my back­ground, about my her­itage, about being Black Caribbean. I used dis­tor­tion, things that curved, and always a play with gen­der, and how we see mas­cu­line clothes,” says Bian­ca.

Padded jack­ets have wire run­ning through their hor­i­zon­tal seams, cre­at­ing shapes as if move­ment has been stopped and paused. Wire also runs through the hem of a black cot­ton drill shirt, cap­tur­ing a moment of flu­id­i­ty.

The shoul­der is a par­tic­u­lar point of focus. Den­im shirts have the shoul­der point brought clos­er to the neck, top­stitched like the out­line of a vest, allow­ing the sleeve itself to fol­low the nat­ur­al line of the body. Den­im through­out has been pro­vid­ed by respon­si­ble den­im man­u­fac­tur­er ISKO.

On jack­ets, Bian­ca has devel­oped a sig­na­ture shoul­der that com­bines strength and soft­ness. A shoul­der-pad sits on top of a sleeve-head that’s tucked in under­neath, cre­at­ing a cor­rect tai­lored line with a shoul­der that reveals sen­si­tiv­i­ty beneath. It’s found on pieces like a tai­lored jack­et with one con­cealed but­ton, or a white faux-leather jack­et.

Details count: a long, tai­lored coat with the sig­na­ture shoul­der has a cov­ered plack­et, so that no but­tons show. It’s the same on shirts, a clar­i­ty of design that means the shirt’s flu­id­i­ty can shine through. Some shirts have ruch­ing at the side, as if hitched up because the wear­er has their hand in their trouser pock­et.

Tai­lored trousers have belt­ed backs so they can be cinched in a spe­cif­ic way. Sweat­pants have a dou­ble waist­band, the elas­tic becom­ing a form of ruch­ing. As with all the trousers, den­im jeans have inside seams that curve out­wards, cre­at­ing a sense of con­tin­u­al move­ment.

Bian­ca intro­duces acces­sories for the first time, with bags with wire in their frame to hold end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties of shape. Footwear is in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Her­nan Guarda­m­agna, a fel­low grad­u­ate of the RCA, with mould­ing that echoes the caught move­ment of the col­lec­tion. There are also silk scarves, print­ed with a say­ing usu­al­ly found on kitchen scrolls that’ll be famil­iar to any­one with Jamaican her­itage.