Behind the set: Jonathan Saunders takes his designs into broad daylight
The recent appointment of a new CEO, Rupert Maunsell, freed up valuable time for Jonathan Saunders. ’I’ve been able to focus on developing more details of the garments, like coloured piping,’ he explained backstage after his S/S 2016 show. But it also allowed Saunders to rethink this summer 2016 show venue, which took two days to build.
Moving his time slot to midday instead of evening, and bringing his collection to a custom-built marquee in the rejuvenated King’s Cross area of Cubitt Square, allowed Saunders to take a different angle on his collection and sharing that perspective with us.
The transparent tent let the bright autumn light in unmercifully, and mirrors placed at varying angles at the edges of venue cast the light back, brightly illuminating Saunders’ signature coloured garments. ’Our brand ethos is about effortlessness and easiness and daywear,’ he said. ’To me, being outside in the open was very much about being confident in the collection and seeing it in the daylight.’
The blue benches inside the space referenced swimming pools and skies, things Saunders wanted to bring together. The details he was able to zoom in on now were plain for the show-goers to see, thanks to the mirrors offering a prismatic view on each look; it was all about ‘the multifaceted aspect of being able to see the clothes from different angles’.
Saunders drew inspiration from Donald Judd, the minimalist American artist whose open-air sculptures play with reflections of colour and light, and Dan Flavin’s fluorescent lights. ’Fragments and light and reflections, all of those things fascinate me,’ he continued. ’I’ve used mirrors in other collection’s sets before, but this one in particular looked up to the sky.’