The Ulla Johnson Pre-Fall 2022 collection presents a bold and graphic lineup evoking tropical whimsy and refined utility in equal measure. Jumping off from an optical juxtaposition of black and whites set against hothouse pink, Johnson expertly layers hand appliqué, corded embroidery, and geo-patterned handloom to eye-popping effect.
Inspired by Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings of ‘the faraway’, the New Mexico terroir through O’Keefe’s hand carries an emotional weight much as do the clothes of Johnsons design. Shapes are both languid and architectural, tracing the body as O’Keefe traced the contours of the desert.
Firmly rooted in a dialogue between contrasts, Johnson courses between volume and restraint, as delicate paneled Italian lace and sheer hand appliqués are paired with sturdy garment washed suiting, offering a continued display of empowered femininity.
Traditional patterns of cheetah and herringbone are deconstructed and reengineered to blurred, irregular effect. Geometric staggered triangles are loomed using traditional batik technique yielding a singular abstracted form. Shown in both sturdy twill and whisper-thin shirting, patterns are cut into shapes that button and tie to undone effect and can be mixed or paired for maximalist impact.
In the spirit of the season, outerwear and knits are on offer in a range of weights and vibes from body skimmingto sportif. Johnson’s signature celebration of handcraft is evidenced by locally hand knitted and crocheted cable sweaters, where exaggerated stitches are made architectural with the use of a puffy corded yarn.
The palette for the season expands past the opening notes of striking pale ecru, graphic noir, and bright peony to encompass a range of colors that pay homage to the land and sea – rich vermillion, coral, shades of sky and water blue, sand, shell, ochre, and gold.