Fall/Winter 2022 Fashion Report: Detroit Edition

Couture bridal gowns, influences from global-trade folklore, and nods to ‘60s British television characterize the season’s collections from designers with local ties
Anna Sui found inspiration in ‘60s mod culture, as well as the performances and outfits portrayed on the British TV concert show Ready Steady Go! // Photo by Richie Lee Davis

Anna Sui

For her fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection, New York-based designer and native Detroiter Anna Sui marries 1960s mod culture, 1920s art deco, and 1980s new-wave music. Specifically, Sui aimed to capture the outfits, performances, and energy of Ready Steady Go!, a 1960s British pop/rock TV concert show that hosted The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, and other popular artists of the time (and for which the collection is named). “Everyone wanted to see what Cathy McGowan was wearing, and then they would try to make it themselves,” Sui told Vogue earlier this year, referring to the show’s host, who was known for wearing clothes by British fashion designer Mary Quant and rocking a Vidal Sassoon haircut. Sui’s take on that period includes faux fur outerwear in hot orange, purple, and zebra print; paillette dresses in purple and black; tweed jacket and skirt sets; schoolgirl dresses; leather pants; and striped, floral, and neon tights. Multicolor balaclavas, art deco neckties, butterfly rings, studded belts in bright green and purple, creepers, and funky badges round out the collection.

Cedi Collection

Detroit native Cedi Johnson traveled from his Washington, D.C., home to the Ritz Paris in the City of Lights to present his fall/winter 2022 collection during Paris Fashion Week earlier this year. Johnson says his collection, AbsoFab, represents his four-decade career in the fashion industry. “I wanted to showcase every element of design that I’m known for, like comfy knits, couture evening dresses, and even the tailored suits and jackets,” Johnson says. Indeed, each look that went down the runway was a moment. AbsoFab features stunning designs including a black and white floral drop-sleeve blouse and slacks paired with cherry red gloves; a head-to-toe silver metallic look comprising a hooded tent top, leggings, and a handbag made with vegan crocodile leather; and a velvet green kimono with a train and a print of Frida Kahlo encompassing the entire back of the garment. The jewelry was also handcrafted by Johnson and consisted of pieces from his collection Nutz & Boltz.

Shelton Hawkins Jr. of streetwear brand Étrange Studios aimed to create experimental designs with Detroit flair, for his first international runway show. // Photo courtesy of Avine

Étrange Studios

Shelton Hawkins Jr., native Detroiter and founder of luxury streetwear brand Étrange Studios, presented his fall/winter 2022 collection at global retailer Flying Solo’s show during Paris Fashion Week. Titled New Beginnings, the collection comprises eight clean and functional looks with edge. Items include a buckled gilet, a varsity jacket with chenille patches, a jacquard crewneck, and pleated cargo trousers. A quilted kimono jacket with an embroidered dragon, a bright blue oversize logo scarf, and a button-up shirt with the phrase “Whatever Makes You Happy” were some of the collection’s standout items. For his first international runway show, Hawkins says he challenged himself to create garments that were more experimental than his previous designs but still represented his hometown. “For some pieces, I drew inspiration from some classic Detroit styles — such as the fur used on the Hunter Safety Jacket, the Fur Patch Carpenter Trousers, and New Beginnings Varsity-Style Jacket — and combined it with my idea of high-end design so that I could bring a bit little of Detroit with me to the fashion mecca, Paris,” he says.

Bold prints in muted colors are displayed on dresses, wide-leg trousers, and head scarves, in this season’s ready-to-wear collection from Tracy Reese. // Photo courtesy of Courtney Blackett

Hope for Flowers

Detroit-based designer Tracy Reese is known for her bold yet wearable garments — and her fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection for her eco-friendly clothing brand Hope for Flowers is no different. “Part of sustainability is making clothes that people want to wear,” Reese told Vogue earlier this year. This season’s designs include maxi dresses with high necklines and puffed sleeves; plaid blazers and wide-leg trousers; chunky knits; and printed headscarves. As with her fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection, this season’s color palette — comprising gray, brown, blue, black, and red — is muted with hints of brighter colors (seen on an orange puffer). The star of the designs — as with most of Reese’s work — is the prints, which include a blue and white floral and a black and white swirl design.

The handcrafted textiles exchanged during the days of seafaring trade influenced Kevan Hall’s fall/winter 2022 collection. // Photo courtesy of Evan Hall

Kevan Hall

For his fall/winter 2022 collection, Trading Post!, the Los Angeles-based, Detroit-born designer takes folks back to a time of global trade, “when travelers would meet to exchange wares, folklore, and handcrafted textiles from Mali to Morocco to the legendary Tarshish.” Hall designed dresses made with printed jacquard and matelassé fabrics, cavalry twill sheaths, a black and metallic gold textured parka, and sequined dresses with cutouts. Rich shades of purple and red pair well with the grays, whites, and blacks. One standout look is a draped gown with a large bow, made with black and purple floral-print jacquard.

A stunning off-the-shoulder dress made with brocade and lamé was the star of Sarah Kolis’ collection of bridal and couture gowns. // Photo courtesy of Jemal Countess

Sarah Kolis Couture Gowns

Novi-based designer Sarah Kolis presented her seven-piece fall collection of custom couture bridal and evening gowns during Runway 7’s show at New York Fashion Week in February. Her designs range from sleek silk bridal gowns to modest dresses made with vintage floral-print cotton to a stunning, floor-sweeping gown made with brocade and lamé. “I love playing with silhouettes in my designs. [I] created each gown with a completely different skirt silhouette,” Kolis says, adding that she incorporated A-line, dirndl, exaggerated loose fit, and dropped waist silhouettes into the collection. The color palette — which featured soft shades of ivory, white, gold, blue, pink, and purple — achieved the elegant look and feel she envisioned.

This story is from the September 2022 issue of Hour Detroit magazine. Read more in our digital edition