The Maison Bent Spring/Summer 2021 collection was created during U.K. lockdown period with limited access to suppliers and resources. The capsule collection tittle “Annette”, named after creative director Shanna Bent’s Grandmother, the collection is a soul-searching investigation that explores heritage and tradition. It celebrates the designer’s individuality, self-confidence and the power of femininity through culture and gentle beauty.
The designer showcases her new collection at Mortimer House, a glamorous yet casual location in Fitzrovia, with inspirational, feminine and powerful garments designed by Shanna Bent, production and movement by Cee Cee O’Neal and styling by Adam, Chi Lung Chan. Backstage after the show, Shanna spoke of her inspiration for the collection: “Obviously during lockdown it’s such a different process to create, being at home for months during lockdown I was able to spend a lot of time with my grandparents… actually speak with my grandmother and hear all the stories from her, seeing different pictures of her, how feminine back then, from being in the garden in the house, seeing all the different colours, made me thing about the atmosphere of the Caribbean, that’s where the garments colour palette came from. And the whole femininity of the brand matches my grandmother’s stories and her past.”
The capsule collection enthuses the interconnection between feminine Jamaican nostalgia inspired by a photograph of the designer’s grandmother and centring around her transition from Jamaica to the United Kingdom decades back. These thoughts are reflected throughout the collection with traditional cotton poplin and versatile drawstring accents alongside constructed ‘peep-holes’ reminiscing an inmost sense of poignancy.
Silhouettes play with casual volume, elegant hemlines and fuss-free construction. Loose practicality and straight shapes bring forth effortless ease whereas longline dresses add a far sleeker sensitivity to the staples. Hair and makeup was inspired by the back to natural and basic, Embracing people of colours natural hair texture: Afro, knots, twists, Fulani Braids,etc. Styling was inspired by minimalism, elements of resort/cruise-wear, eye catching jewels to empower femininity: gold toned chunky choker, ear cuff and hand cuff. Simple block colour face mask: in a circle shape to allow more room for skin to breathe, flowing/gone with the wind accessories wrap around head or neck, causal yet feminine.
In short, the collection was cohesively showcased in the presentation, casual, elegant and ultra-feminine silhouette styled with eye catching accessories, the uncomplicated highlighted the femininity. The collection also shows everyone should be able to feel comfortable about their natural and true self. To enable social distancing there was a minimal support team behind the scenes so whilst this meant that the models had to do their own hair and make up. This allowed the natural beauty of the models (and the clothes themselves) to shine a very simple yet powerful message.
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Words: Adam Chi Lung Chan
Photography and film: Caroline Hajny