In Fashion Mens Clothing Mens Fall/Winter 2019 Review Mens Fashion Mens lifestyle Menswear New York Fashion Week Studio One Eighty Nine Sustainable Sustainable Fashion West African Fashion

When The Artists Come Into The Studio: Studio One Eighty Nine Fall/Winter 2019 Menswear

Sure minimal is great, but what about broadening your perspective?  When white shoes before labor day went out the window so did many of the mores of menswear that have long keep men in the protected realms of navy and grey.  Now, you can wear stretch fabrics in the board meeting, it just depends on what you're meeting about.  You can rock a slim shrunken and abbreviated suit at the party and look right at home next to the kat donning the oversized hoodie with kicks that look as though they were ready to set sail.  As global fashion gains more of a voice and efforts to diversify and include come center stage, there will be greater undertakings so that brands come to where someone is within own their aesthetic rather than indoctrinating them to forgo their own aesthetic.  When respect is upheld, balance is met and new perspectives are birthed.

What a refreshing show from the relatively new New York Fashion Week wünderbrand Studio One Eighty Nine.  The brand has been offering up artisanal clothing that utilizes the techniques of hand-dyeing, hand-batik and kente-weaving from West Africa to create lively collections that are not only exciting but also sustainable and socially-aware.  Co-founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, Studio One Eighty Nine achieves this by employing the skills of West African craftsmen to create original pieces with silhouettes, techniques and themes that take non-Western perspectives and make them inclusive into a Western market.   

The pieces Studio One Eighty Nine offers are always striking and approachable with outcomes that provocatively go against the grains of New England plaids and nautical stripes.  They happily offer and infuse a plausible and attractive way to look at the idea of Western sportswear through a West African lens.  For Fall 2019, Studio One Eighty Nine showcased a collection that was eclectic and, as per their aesthetic, really gave the consumer a sense of the vision of the brand.  Their energetic, electric and charismatic batik-dyes and prints, textures and traditional techniques all placed onto staple silhouettes like  charismatic trench coats, trim button-downs, laid back trousers, suave jumpsuits and eclectic blazers on sustainable denims, mud cloths and cottons.  Styled with a sense of confidence and ease, the collection had a clear message of familiarizing West African narratives thereby making further strides to solidify the artistry and greatness that is often overlooked from this region on the great continent of Africa.

There's something to be said of a fashion brand that makes strides to adhere to many things honorable.  Creating a livelihood for West African artisans, doing so with fabrics and materials that reduce carbon footprints, waste & honor sustainability and expanding the conversation about the magnificently melanated beauty that lies in tradition and craft takes a lot of work.  It's not effortless, but thankfully Studio One Eighty Nine makes the effort so that you can look and feel at ease. 

*Special thanks to Glasgow Skinner for the photos

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