by Stephen Garner

Nanushka’s pre-fall 2021 collection, which continues a commitment to experimentation in design direction, takes its cues from two worlds: the creative context of Surrealist art; and a natural absorption of the world around creative director Sandra Sandor in 2020.

“I was immediately inspired by an abstract picture frame in my home,” said Sandor. “And the more I delved into this inspiration, the more I could see that immediate connection with Surrealist motifs and cues. That is where we headed, looking at the relationship between form and organic shapes and how we tap into their qualities in our collection direction.”

The result is unexpected cues and ideas forming together. The design direction explores both connection and balance alongside the real and the unknown: strong color blocking evokes a “yin and yang” sensitivity, much like the human character; knitwear allows for comfort in uncertainty; whilst craft and organic shapes work in concert. More literally, the inside-out seams and fraying in the collection are a direct reference to the journey inward, expressing itself outwardly. For womenswear, there’s a playfulness within this formal order. Novelty denim, bouclé, and fluffy knit, subtly padded tailoring, and form-fitting and oversized sweaters feature alongside prints that border on fantasy – kaleidoscopic, logo tweed and jacquard that usher notions of dreamlike yet sensual states.

Menswear will continue its careful evolution: shrunken silhouettes in jackets will work with wide-legged trousers and easy-to-wear chinos; while tailored outerwear will be available in both regenerated leather and linen canvas. Characteristically intricate yet easy-to-wear, prints comprise of trippy floral, blurred tie-dye, fool’s paradise, and illusional check. Nanushka’s views on natural life, sustainability, and the environment are ever-present, manifested for pre-fall 2021 in a renewed commitment to innovatively responsible fabric choices. Alongside 100 percent recycled mesh jersey, FSC-certified satin, organic cotton, and regenerated leather, the collection debuts the use of Econyl (a nylon fabric made entirely from ocean and landfill waste) in the form of a trench coat.

“This collection,” Sandor continued, “remains fully grounded in functionality and, to a degree, utility. But it is also a truly creative collection. We’re exploring surprising opposites, upending or reimagining fabric techniques, or contrasting elements of light and dark, shape and form. We’re moving between states constantly and quickly – I feel this comes through powerfully in this collection.”

In this spirit, Nanushka’s accessories line evolves. The growing familiarity of selected bag families is complemented by a range of new small leather goods – card holders, wallets, and keyrings. Footwear lines are similarly expanded – knee-high and ankle boots supported by slip-on flats, sandals, and low-heeled elegant yet functional options.