Maison Bent | SS21

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