From Daesja Mizarahi LaPerla Jourdan to Nina Garland, by way of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown. A journey to zero, a reflection on personal roots and an aim to marry quintessential R&B and hip-hop aesthetics with old-world Italian craftsmanship. James Garland’s debut collection for J6 is a love letter to his mother Nina Garland and, more specifically, to his childhood in Brooklyn.
James Garland’s prodigious career. The son of an accomplished ballerina mother who trained in ballet himself, Garland was perusing the Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble after class and picked up the issue with Amber Valletta in a plunging coral Versace number on the cover. “I loved ballet, but I hated performing, and my mother said, ‘OK, if you don’t want to do that, you have to be passionate about something else,” the Brooklyn native recalls. “To this day, I cannot tell you why I picked up that issue of Vogue, but after I showed it to her she made me research all of the designers and brands. I really started looking at all the images and the garments—I couldn’t put it down. I told her that fashion was going to be my next passion.”
J6 Collection 1
In this range, J6 presents a collection that highlights the silhouettes and vibe from an extensive exploration of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Think the ease of dressing and minimalism pioneered by the great American designers of the ‘90s and a dose of ostentatious glamour – to create a collection of elevated classics. So happy to see that skinny jeans are out and baggies are back.
Inspired by the style of “ballroom icon” Daesja, and the bravado of late ‘90s and early ‘00s Hip-hop stars. SS21 presents a larger breath of wear-anywhere textiles, and styles. The backless draped halter durag dress perfectly illustrates this symbiosis. The durag is not merely ornamental, but functions as a support structure for the dress. Durags and stocking caps are featured prominently in the men’s and women’s collection, they are reimagined in Italian fabrics like a viscose rib, and cupro jersey.
Hip Hop to Runway
Family is a key player in the brand’s ethos latching on ballroom culture’s roots of establishing “houses” as alternative families. Anok Yai, who stars in the brand’s campaign, is more than a close friend of the designer’s; she is an extended family member. Anok is cast as the J6 matriarch, complete with her fictional newborn baby and man in tow.
Comfort and a return to normality guided the design of the menswear Garments are styled in monochromatic colourways, keeping with the brand’s savvy American influence and Italian luxury ethos. The collection encapsulates the perfect duality between fuss-free apparel and high-end fashion, creating garments with a modern yet playful twist. The palette is muted but the statement is bold, acting as a free canvas for the wearer and concept presented.