Bethany Williams unveiled her autumn/winter 2022 collection via a digital presentation at the Design Museum, turning the spotlight on the craftspeople and social enterprises that she works with to create her clothes. Below, the five key takeaways.
It honours the people who make our clothes
Entitled The Hands That Heal Us, Williams’s autumn/winter 2022 collection honours the people who make our clothes – a theme that has been central to the designer’s work right from the beginning, via partnerships with social enterprises such as the San Patrignano rehabilitation centre in Italy and the Mending For Good initiative, which supports social cooperatives in Italy and the UK. “With this collection I wanted to turn the focus towards the makers themselves, and their beautiful crafts and specialisms, to show our support and unwavering gratitude for their role played within our network and supply chain,” the designer tells Vogue.
The prints are reflective of the theme
Williams collaborated again with the artist Melissa Kitty Jarram on the vibrant prints that feature throughout the collection. The story of each of the brand’s partners within its supply chain is told via the illustrations.
Functionality is essential
In keeping with the focus on makers – and their tools – functionality is at the forefront of the collection, with workwear being a key inspiration. Detachable pockets and tool loops feature, as well as tool rolls that can be mixed and matched across garments, for those who are into their DIY.
Sustainable denim is a new product category
Denim – made from organic and recycled cotton as well as hemp – is introduced into Williams’s main collection for the first time this season, with careful attention paid to every little detail: the eco-finished metal buttons, for example, are easily removable so the jeans can be recycled at the end of its life cycle. Cactus leather and bamboo silk are other conscious materials incorporated into the collection, along with the organic, deadstock and upcycled materials that Williams has long favoured.
Williams has a new exhibition at the Design Museum
The launch of Williams’s autumn/winter 2022 collection also coincides with her new exhibition at the Design Museum, entitled Bethany Williams: Alternative Systems. It showcases the story behind her past collections and brand to date, from the textiles used to the social impact of her work.