Now in her fifth decade designing, Detroit native Anna Sui is known for whimsical styles that are often reflective of contemporary cultural phenomena. For her spring/summer 2022 ready-to-wear show, presented during New York Fashion Week last September, the New York-based designer transported attendees to a tropical getaway with the Another Day in Paradise collection. It features looks inspired by Sui’s own ideal holiday. Printed dresses, jackets, graphic tees, and shorts bloom with a variety of tropical florals, while hand-crocheted cardigans, skirts, bikinis, vests, and bags round out the collection. The rainbow color palette progresses from bright pinks and oranges to deep blues and purples. The upscale, beachy looks are complemented by chunky round-framed sunglasses, straw hats, floral chokers, and gingham socks.
Aaron Potts, a Detroit-born, New York-based designer, creates versatile pieces influenced by modern art, native dress, and workwear for his unisex label. He aims to tell “a story of earthbound angels, lightness, movement, and joy” with his spring/summer 2022 menswear collection, whose neutral blues, browns, and whites are expertly juxtaposed with with pops of reds, oranges, and pinks. Ruffled tops and skirts, boxy jackets and dresses, and layers of fringe can be seen throughout the looks, creating playful volume. Tie-front aprons are a nod to Ethiopian weaving traditions (the Hamar and Bana tribes of Ethiopia were two of Potts’ inspirations for the collection).
Sisters Kelsey and Cassidy Tucker of Detroit-based unisex label Deviate produced a dreamy spring/summer 2022 collection bearing influences from the city’s automotive history. The brand unveiled its Impalpable as a Dream collection last fall, within the graffiti-lined walls of Recycle Here, in Detroit — a backdrop befitting of the collection’s theme. The Tuckers aimed to present a visual interpretation of the concepts of dreams and time, as well as the limbic system (a part of the brain that processes and regulates emotions, memories, and learning). To this effect, clock imagery and obscure graphics were plastered on waffle-knit shirts, crewnecks, and an oversized hoodie with dramatically elongated sleeves. Utilitarian chore coats, duster jackets, and a custom tool belt, meanwhile, are reminiscent of vintage assembly-line workwear. The collection is bathed in a color palette inspired by Motown album covers and the murals that adorn the city.
Hope for Flowers
In the course of her four-decade fashion career, Tracy Reese has made a name for herself designing womenswear with unique prints and bold colorways. She started her sustainable label Hope for Flowers in 2019, after moving from New York back to her native Detroit. Bright floral prints abound in the spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection, in keeping with both the brand’s and Reese’s own signature flair for daring colors and patterns. Breezy, open-back dresses; tops with puffed sleeves; and shorts serve as ideal canvases. Other equally fun options include a leopard-print top and dress, striped wide-leg pants, and tie-dyed ensembles. The collection exudes childlike joy, a quality the brand played into with photography showing models riding scooters in Voigt Park, in Detroit’s Boston-Edison neighborhood, and at the playground at New Center’s Pat Lane Park.
Kevan Hall, a Detroit-born, Los Angeles-based designer, is best known for his couture designs and for revamping luxury brand Halston, while serving as its creative director, at the turn of the century. For his spring/summer 2022 ready-to-wear collection, Brushstrokes, Hall calls upon the fashion, art, and interior design of 1930s Paris. The collection is inspired by French artist and fashion illustrator Christian Bérard’s signature painting style, with nods to Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti and interior designer Jean-Michel Frank. Ensembles featuring the trompe l’oeil technique (a style of painting that creates the illusion of a real object or scene) made their way down the runway during New York Fashion Week last fall. The brushstroke effect can be seen on a blazer, a jacket, pants, and a gown. Floral prints, tweed dresses, and sequined looks in shades of coral, alabaster, and fuchsia reflect Hall’s classic design aesthetic.
Since moving from his native Detroit to New York in the early aughts, designer Isaiah Hemmingway has become known for his bespoke suits and custom footwear. For his resort 2022 collection, Hemmingway marries business with leisure to create what he calls “bleisure.” Relaxed shirts with hidden plackets and fashioned from a cashmere blend, as well as sports coats and trousers with ribbed hemming, make for fitted yet casual looks. And Hemmingway is not afraid of color; royal blue, kelly green, and orchid, with occasional pops of red and orange, make up the color palette, offset by neutral tans, grays, and blacks. Hemmingway presented this collection last October, at the Detroit Maison Black runway show, which featured six Detroit-born designers (including Potts and Hall) and served as a kickoff to Maison Black, a New York-based online marketplace for accessible luxury fashion by Black designers.
This story is from the April 2022 issue of Hour Detroit. Read more in our digital edition.