In partnership with Anest Collective
Anest Collective was born from a desire to create considered, luxurious and discreet ready-to-wear and accessories, with a modern and poetic aesthetic. The Shanghai-based company’s collections are expertly designed and crafted in Italy with a perfectionist ethos, and are imbued with a restrained sensuality.
Anest Collective strives for a sense of study in clothing – apparel that provokes sensations, something more than the eye can see, a feeling of unmatched ability. These conceptual qualities drive the A/W 2022 pieces, and result from a creative exchange between contributing creative director Brendan Mullane and the Anest Collective founders in Shanghai.
Exploring the notion of ‘fragmentation’ – the process of deconstructing and reconstructing garments to present a different perspective – the new collection follows the brand’s sartorial signature style. With Italian craftsmanship at the root of the design and making process, each piece uses only the highest grade of materials, such as cashmere, silk and soft calf leather.
‘Deconstructed and stripped back, fragile inner workings are revealed,’ explains Mullane of the collection’s inspiration. ’Fragments are given new form. DNA is captured and resequenced. The result is harmony, balance and, in response to changes around us, a new way to exist.’
Colours are elemental and sylvan – Forest Green, Smoked Sage, Anthracite, Zinco, Prussian – a combination of warm and cool tones, punctuated by vibrant touches of Saffron and Klein Blue, creating a harmonious ensemble that allows a subtle play on structure and material profundity.
Discreet details are worked into fabrics. The menswear collection’s double-breasted ‘Sartorial’ jacket and trousers, for example, use a wool and mohair mix fabric that shows as solid black on first look but, on further inspection, divulges the depth of a Prince of Wales Check intertwined with a Pied-de-Poule (hounds-tooth) design.
Normally hidden, structural elements – such as the inside panels of a jacket – are revealed to create a new silhouette. A white cashmere coat lapel appears as if slit open at the side to flaunt a contrasting black silk lining beneath. Turned up, the coat’s collar parades a hidden structure of black leather, adding sharpness and intrigue.
A defining element of the collection is the use of shearling, utilised in both the accessories and the ready-to-wear pieces. Adding warmth and softness to the tailoring, contrasting white and black variants are applied for menswear and womenswear on blousons, with accenting leather detailing. Two styles of shearling bags, highlighted with golden hardware, complement the look.
Flat leather boots in black and white, generously wide at the calf and elegantly cinched at the ankle with a strap bearing Anest Collective’s signature ‘A’ buckle, ground all women’s looks, the cobbling counterpoint for men being a double monk strap on a raised ankle length boot.
To create a narrative around the A/W 2022 collection, Anest Collective drew on the vision of director Stephen Kidd for a film and stills campaign – shot at the Cité des Sciences et de L’Industrie (CSI) in Paris – on the theme of ‘Fragmentation’. Following the journeys of two individuals during their daily routine, the film’s black-and-white story is intercut with full-colour abstract imagery, suggesting shared experience and emotional inner life.
‘The A/W collection is a reflection of our shared emotional state following a generation-defining health emergency,’ says Mullane, ‘After everything, it’s a chance to ask: How are we rebuilding ourselves?’ The film captures this idea of stripping back and re-assembling to create something new.
It also addresses ‘the concept of the “dual lives” we all live’, says Kidd. ‘We live reality, but then there’s also what goes on in our heads. The clothes have aspects of this, in that they are architectural, but also full of inspiration.’
Across menswear and womenswear, The Anest Collective A/W 2022 collection combines inspiration and emotion with rigorous tailoring and purist forms.
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