Central Saint Martins’ alum have been dominating LFW so far, with KNWLS’ SS22 offering being no exception. Founded in 2017 by Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault, the brand joined the Fashion East roster in 2018 and rebranded from Charlotte Knowles in 2021. This was the debut collection shown under the brand’s new name.
The collection is titled ‘ADRENALINE’ – and it is clear to see why. Known for their body-centring garments which play with concealment and exposure, KNWLS pieces strive to embody an empowered but disruptive vision of femininity, towing the line of dangerous and sensual. The brand adopts a tough, utilitarian sensibility to challenge the modern conception of femininity, and create an armour for whoever wears the designs.
Opening with the screech of skidding tyres, the atmosphere of the show was adrenalised too, with the runway filling with fog and dust before the first model walked out. KNWLS presented an exciting, fluid collection consisting of heavy leather, low-rise trousers and intricately laced tops. The effect was an overwhelming exaltation of confidence: the brand is proudly comfortable in both their unique design tropes and singular identity.
Other standout pieces included form-fitting tailored two-pieces, while lipstick pink python boots and serpentine enamelled hoops grounded the collection in wild animalism. A bias cut handkerchief dress, bleached floral and paisley motifs, and hand-crocheted, fringed suede trousers – the product of a collaboration with Harry Evans – offer a flourish of bohemian romance.
It was clear from the wealth of celebrities already sporting the brand that KNWLS is one to watch, with ‘ADRENALINE’ proving that they are at the top of their game.