For this collection, Samuel Ross went back to the drawing board – or should we say clay board. The pieces start from, and recall sculpture – something conceptualised from the earliest design stages in which Ross used clay modelling to experiment with form, shape and style.
With the pandemic providing time to think, reassess and readjust, it seems that ACW* has gone back to its creative origins for AW22. The looks here are almost architectural – something not unfamiliar to Ross, who also founded design agency SR_A, which spans architecture and interior design.
Titled ‘Brittle. Render. Sequenced. Thought’, the collection seems to focus on the essential: compacting large concepts and inspirations into a cohesive, considered body of work. As the title encapsulates, the collection encompasses the physical and mental: hinting at the work’s materiality with ‘brittle’, before grounding it in emotion, human reaction and ‘thought’.
The collection also places an emphasis on artistic craftsmanship, which is evident in the fluid and unusual silhouettes offered. Heavy-set upper body pieces are calmed with a more streamlined trouser, whilst the adaptability of clay is evident in the shapes and structure of key outerwear pieces.
Highlights include a long, oversized grey duster coat which features spots that appear to be dotted on by a giant paintbrush, paired with a monochromatic straight-leg trouser and ACW* Dr Martens to complete the look. Elsewhere, Ross calls on earthy browns, blues and bronze for a hoodie, T-shirt and baggy cargo look. Here, each colour is splashed across the other, whilst an oversized metallic bag is strewn across the model’s torso. With the hoodie half-on and further streaks of bronze decorating the trousers, the overall impression is of sculpture: Ross has placed the garments, colours and decorative techniques across the model who takes the role of a blank canvas.
This sentiment is echoed throughout the lookbook and collection, with other looks consisting of layered hoodies, long sleeves and trousers featuring an all-encompassing streak of red, accessorised with the ACW* x Dr Martens shoe and a silverware mask.
In all, A-COLD-WALL* looked to the future of the brand for AW22 – starting to literally sculpt out what an ACW* runway would look like, with a renewed focus on materiality, construction and functionality. Whilst fans of the brand will still find solace in their wearable and desirable pieces, which bridge the gap between high fashion and streetwear, this new collection also ushers in the possibility of new audiences, who look to fashion for unusual silhouettes, highlighted art, and a fresh perspective.