PFWM SS24: Wales Bonner

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FOR A brand whose staple is an intricately crafted tracksuit, it seems apt that Wales Bonner‘s latest collection takes a moment to focus on the very silhouette that has gained her popularity. Still remaining closely linked with the seasonal flair, creative director Grace Wales Bonner decided to take a closer look at the horizon and to the long distance runners in Ethiopia and Kenya – specifically, Haile Gebrselassie, Eliud Kipchoge and the Dibaba sisters.

With the beating sun and physical endurance in mind, spring-summer 2024 is an ode and celebration of this soulful pursuit in sport. Honing in on what she does best, an emphasis on varying African artisanal offerings remained at the core of the collection.

Using hand-woven Tibeb fabrics in the Addis Ababa; raffia on skirts and within the beaded stripes on the women’s suits; Macrame net in vests and Ghanaian glass beads on skirts, what echoed within the seams was the same undulating practice seen in runners, whose unconscious rhythm and repetition has equipped them with a routine in their fields.

Balancing her dual heritage, London’s Savile Row was reflected within the tailoring of the looks. Produced in partnership with Anderson and Sheppard, raw silk, gold buttons and slim silhouettes became the look of the collection, echoing the craftsmanship of her home city with the aesthetics closely linked to East Africa.

Steadfast in her codes, signature shirting of course makes a return while hybrid versions that balance traditional tailoring with sportswear finishes bode close with the running theme. Her on-going collaboration with Adidas Originals has never been more aligned, and for SS24, Mac coats and British checks find themselves elevating the classic pieces from the German brand.

Not forgetting to mention, the notable tribute made to Gebreselaisse, whose record-breaking time that won her the Berlin Marathon in 2008, is highlighted through the arrival of the replica of the Adidas Neftegna trainer that she wore during this event.

It’s a season that puts an emphasis on what Grace Wales Bonner does best. Elevated with meticulous savoir-faire and yet utterly contemporary, SS24 is a collection worthy of running to the stores for.

by Imogen Clark


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