Ahluwalia Explores the Harlem Renaissance for FW21 "Traces" Collection
Deadstock garments are patched together to create colorblocked items.
This Fall/Winter 2021 Fashion Week has been an exciting one for Priya Ahluwalia – the designer was granted the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, and also showcased her latest menswear collection with a short film titled Traces. Created in partnership with musician Cktrl, the visual portrays the concept of brotherhood and unity, with inspiration from the Harlem Renaissance.
The collection was developed from Ahluwalia’s interest in Yaa Gyasi’s 2016 novel Homegoing, which covers the story of two sisters who were separated at birth. “It showed how we move around the world and that the things from the past always follow us around,” she shares in a press release. The tale eventually led Ahluwalia to explore the process of migration and how it can spark new ideas.
The inspiration is seen through upcycled garments that are patchworked together to create an entirely new look. Tracksuits feature colorblocking all over with different pieces of fabric attached together with white piping details. Meanwhile, Ahluwalia’s signature button-up tops are crafted with bamboo silk and deadstock shirts. Corduroy pieces feature similar details but in a subtler manner with various cuts and seams running down the legs.
In addition to the Harlem Renaissance, Ahluwalia looked to Black artists Kerry James Marshall and Jacob Lawrence for the collection’s overall color palette. Vibrant shades of red and blue contrast black and brown, while 100 percent recycled fabrics boast digital prints. Taking center stage is a newly designed emblem on sweaters, shirts, jackets and more.
Take a closer look at Ahluwalia’s FW21 collection above and watch the digital presentation below.