Samuel Ross’ Fall 2019 collection snarls with brutalist infused streetwear

Samuel Ross isn’t the first designer to land in fashion after studying architecture, but he’s among the most committed to industrial design. His collections for A-Cold-Wall* funnel brutalist building aesthetics into fluid, sophisticated streetwear, a juxtaposition making Ross one of the most exciting designers around right now. A-Cold-Wall* Fall/Winter 2019 collection was a fitting commentary on movement: both the ease and the difficulty of it, in an increasingly nationalistic political climate. Cement-dusted teenagers in technical puffer jackets and reflective tailoring walked down a runway littered with rubble and flanked by two giant tanks of black water — which two performance artists appeared to navigate, mirroring the passage of migrants who were very recently intercepted by the Royal Navy while crossing the English Channel to seek asylum. As if current events didn’t make the scene feel ominous enough already, it was all soundtracked by a barking Rottweiler.

The clothing itself, though, sounded a more optimistic note. Referencing Ross’ graphic design studies, as well as his post-grad collaborations with the Architectural Association School of Architecture, rulers and graph paper were blown up and emblazoned on outerwear. And a few truly sweaters, which appeared to levitate around the models’ bodies, contained more negative space than fabric. Nationalism might be rising, and borders closing, but we still have freedom of thought.

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