Between worlds

Anime icons and adolescent dreams: unpicking Ernest W. Baker SS22
Fashion | 28 June 2021

Since beginning, Ernest W. Baker, Inês Amorim and Reid Baker have finessed a distinct visual signature that far exceeds the youth of their joint label. There’s a connective depth to their references, an expressive personality to their mood equaling that of much older brands, but such is the clarity of their vision that Ernest W. Baker have got there in just under four years.

This season then, is less about adding to the picture and more focused on refining its details. The businessman suits of a raw, bygone Americana, the elegant Euro-centric cuts, the cinematic masters of surrealism, everything we’ve come to expect from the brand is tweaked and condensed for SS22, aligned with a new theme of teetering between reality and artifice.

For a brand that have recently looked to the likes of David Lynch, Federico Fellini and Wong Kar-wai for inspiration this should come as little surprise, and SS22 sees references to more masters of surrealism; in Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream and the work of Japanese anime director, Satoshi Kon. Stitching together present and future, young and old, this season attempts to pin down that which is fleeting and ephemeral, the moment between childhood dreams and adult reality.

Below, Amorim and Baker talk us through the references and feelings behind their SS22 collection.

On the Ernest W. Baker man’s current mindset…
“This season, the Ernest W. Baker man is thinking that hope is mostly wishful thinking with a component of fantasy, but erring on the side of optimism, always carries the possibility of becoming reality.  This tension between fantasy and reality was the foundation for our collection this season, which we then translated into our film.”

On reflecting the times in the new collection…
“We strive to be very transparent in the way we develop our collections, so what we are feeling is naturally filtered into the collection. For this season, there has been a sense of loneliness, or being in a dark place, while at the same time, having a sense of lightness and emerging from this dark space as globally we are starting to enter a post-pandemic era.”

“…between the dreams of childhood and the reality of adulthood.”

On this season’s influences…
“As a brand, we have continually looked to the past, inspired by a sense of nostalgia, and in many of our recent collections, we have referenced the very young. This Spring-Summer 2022 season, however, we were inspired by adolescence – referencing that brief moment in our lives which is both fleeting and eternal, between the dreams of childhood and the reality of adulthood.

GALLERY

On the making of their third short film…
“The director of our films, Vladimir Kaminetsky, is also the photographer of our collections. In addition, he is a close friend and we have spent a lot of time collaborating on the direction of the video. This season, the narrative was inspired by anime director Satoshi Kon, whose work expresses the ability to float between reality and fantasy. We also wanted to express a romantic element, which we were able to achieve through referencing Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream, finding a common ground between the two in the way they both express a blurring between time and seasons.

Regarding the filming process, with this being our third film, we have learned to be extremely organised in order to manage the unforeseen chaos that is bound to happen on set. It takes a talented team, with everyone being clear on their role and the direction of the film in order for the film to be successful and achieve an outcome that everyone is satisfied with.”

Three words that define the collection…
“Romantic, adolescence and refined.”

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