Ulla Johnson was back at Brooklyn’s Powerhouse Arts building Sunday morning, this time staging a collection-inspired, shadow-casting sculpture by Andrew Ondrejcak and Abby Cheney, in the middle of the room.
“As we were putting the installation together with the collection, I wanted this warm, enveloping, embryonic feeling,” Johnson said backstage of her beautiful fall collection, which surprisingly (and delightfully) included men on her runway for the first time.
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She clarified the men’s looks were actually women’s, and tied into the collection’s exploration of slouchy versus boxy shapes; boyish cuts versus accentuating, and revealing the body in a way that’s never vulgar. “It was more about exploring why there is this artificial boundary between womenswear and menswear when there’s so much that can move easily between,” she explained, noting the men in her orbit who have been wearing her women’s designs for years.
Throughout the fall lineup Johnson treated traditional tropes of paisley, lace, crepes, menswear pin-striped suiting and corsetry in her signature unexpected, artisanal ways, as seen via strong paisley hand-crochet dressing and cozy Fair Isle knits; a black crochet turtleneck with an artfully graphic black-and-white embellished slim skirt; unrestricted tailoring, and sensual dresses.
Warmth was front and center via standout intarsia shearling outerwear, while daytime utility stemmed from evolved denim and sophisticated leather layers. In addition, she continued to expand her focus on sportif functionality with femininity through K-Way collaborative, waterproof blurred ikat styles while pushing monochrome layers and knitwear exploration in Milton Avery-inspired saturated hues. For instance, the show-opening purple felted wool, ruffle detailed dress; easy jersey dresses with “distorted” little white edges, or a non-knit, caped trenchcoat.
The collection’s sense of fluidity and ease flowed through eveningwear — an impactful crushed gold metallic pleated gown catching the light as it floated down the runway.
Launch Gallery: Ulla Johnson Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Photos