by Stephen Garner

Bianca Saunders presented her autumn/winter ‘21 menswear collection digitally this weekend as part of London Fashion Week.

The collection, called “Superimposed,” looks at positive and negative spaces, pushing forwards the signature cuts and silhouettes of the brand. It’s a collection that aims to broaden the Bianca Saunders wardrobe, finding creativity and sexiness in both the surreal and real world.

“I like to take a multidisciplinary approach to my work, with art and filmmaking as part of my practice,” said Saunders. “This collection started from sculptures I exhibited in Paris last autumn and has drawn inspiration from the multidisciplinary artist Jean Cocteau.”

While making the collection, Saunders looked at the photography of Man Ray, as well as the stretched fabric imagery of Erwin Wurm. Blood of the Poet by Jean Cocteau provided inspiration for the film, with its sense of a man in isolation, as if moving photography. As always with Saunders, what matters most is the constant process of honing and perfecting her signature cuts.

Saunders said, “for me, it’s all about the shoulder.” That’s clear on a tuxedo jacket with a sleek, unstructured take on her signature sunken-in shoulder, with the sleeve head almost appearing as if it’s a gilet on top. Lapels are purposefully wide, while pockets have been set high to emphasize the waisted silhouette.

The shoulder appears in many forms, with many different effects. A black cotton workwear shirt has an A-line shape, thanks to side pleats that fall from the sunken-in shoulder. Large welt pockets hidden in the side pleat only push the A-line shape forwards; from the front, the shirt is sleek and reduced in detail, fastened with snaps.

To create a bomber jacket, Saunders moves the vent back to the shoulder blade, allowing the cut to be oversized at the front and shorter at the back. This oversized cut refers back to Saunders’s graduate collection from the MA course at the Royal College of Art (RCA), while the cropped back allows easy access to pockets, and shows off the butt.

Saunders has also cut a vivid blue take on the Harrington jacket with the shoulder, as well as a red waterproof functional zip-up jacket. There’s even a fully ruffled jacket, created by overlocking together off-cuts from her best-selling ruffled shorts.

Prints have been made from photographs of crinkled or creased garments, following on from the pieces she showed at the exhibition Drawing a Blank in Paris last autumn. A knit sweater has been creased and gathered as if a crop top. It appears in the collection by itself, then was photographed and printed onto a cotton sweatshirt, itself creased to heighten the effect.

The designer also featured Wrangler jeans have been printed with a blown-up image of creased jeans, which also appear on a tailored jacket and twisted cut corduroy trousers. A further positive/negative print was created by drawing in graphite over creased trousers, this print used on an oversized scarf.

Wrangler jeans are also seen cut twisted around the leg; tailored trousers are creased, or are fastened by a buckle at the front. Fitted T-shirts and tops have asymmetric necks as if pulled to the side – another Saunders signature. Meanwhile, a dogtooth printed coat with the sunken-in shoulder shows the elegance of the collection, its pockets trimmed with thick binding.