Ahluwalia Releases A Deep-Rooted SS21 Collection
London based Nigerian-Indian designer, Priya Ahluwalia recently revealed her Spring/Summer 2021 collection as a part of London Fashion Week - the first ever digital fashion week. Invigorated by the outburst of the ’Black Lives Matter’ movement, the collection was titled ‘Liberation,’ in celebration of how socially, politically and culturally filtered the collection was.
‘Liberation’ is a product of 2 minds, Ahluwalia along with Lagos-born, British graphic designer and collaborator, Dennis McInnes. Since there was to be no physical presentation, Ahluwalia aimed for her collection to be “easily digestible" via a screen to her audience, and therefore enlisted graphic designer McInnes as a partner for this project.
Inspired by political posters, news stories, archival photographs of Black Beauty in America and illustrated infographics etc. using the historic protests in Nigeria from the 1960s, the pair also used the modern-day Black Lives Matter movement as points of reference for the creation fo this collection.
Other key elements that were built upon are totemic symbols resonating with African diaspora and toned-down patterns using grids, pyramids and zig-zag lines were inspired by infographics from Data Portraits: Visualising Black America by W.E.B. Du Bois and McInnes developed a myriad of print designs and artworks for this collection.
The collection displays a muted colour palette of mustards, forest greens and earthy hues of beige, brown and grey, while still keeping alive the familiar bright shades from Ahluwalia’s design sensibilities like red and orange.
The line displays relaxed and easy silhouettes adorned with graphic prints and geometric shapes and through this collection, Ahluwalia aims to exercise her ambition to make sustainable clothing, desirable. The visible multi-stripe patchwork designs are created from dead-stock and up-cycled fabrics, dismantled from garments to demonstrate the jigsaw effect and geometries of disparate fabrics.
The lockdown restrictions prompted the environment-conscious designer to source material more locally, from recycling networks all over London. The laser-printed denims were sourced from a factory in Morocco that used a closed-loop water system, reducing environmental damage.
The ‘Liberation’ collection is available at selected retailers around the world. Head over to Ahluwalia studio for more information.