The New York collections this week have been all about homecomings. Given the dreary state of things in the world (wars, a turbulent economy), designers are looking inward, focusing on clothes that swaddle the body like a safety blanket. Who better to tackle that than a knitwear specialist?
Henry Zankov was certainly up for the challenge with “Hold Me Closer,” a reflection on his home life in Brooklyn. Upon moving back there from Rhode Island last year, Zankov said he was immediately struck by the warmth of his friends and the overall energy of the city. “This idea of reconnecting with people and feeling embraced really fed me,” he explained.
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Sharing the bounty, Zankov left one feeling more satiated after this Sarrett-Lehigh presentation than in season’s past. Alongside his slim rib knits with contrasting stripes in spice-rack colors and sportier perforated jacquards, there were enveloping shapes with pockets, integrated scarf attachments and gaping holes at the back or sides, cleverly inviting hands to play with the styling possibilities or reach in for impromptu hugs. They came in soothing stone colors like quartz and a new anthracite gray electrified by splashes of vermilion, violet and Kelly green.
Zankov painted the wood set pieces that decorated the informal runway himself, and invited others to pitch a hand in, too. Friend and jewelry-maker Presley Oldham accessorized things with Baroque pearl chokers, silver wishbone-shaped pendants and Murano glass necklaces, while natural dye artist Ian Allen Greer lent his shibori technique to a merino skirt and house-dress in deep bordeaux. Riffing on their tribal feel, Zankov came up with pom-poms affixed to black-and-ecru vests, yummy drop shoulder cardigans, and scarves with carpet-like striated stitches.
Four years into his brand, Zankov has proven he’s got the sweater thing on lock. His visuals remain strong season to season and his artful eye for tactility and proportion is what keeps the total look from looking unkempt. But it always leaves one wondering what else he might have up his knitted sleeve. “A lot of people have been asking me about completing the wardrobe,” he said.
Here, he provided some answers, adding in longer fluted hems as a subtle go at evening and wovens in the form of butter-yellow puddle pants and a mossy cocoon coat with a draped shawl collar. It was crave-worthy, stealing the show with a more cosmopolitan polish. Sweeping alpaca robes aside, it was also the only true outerwear piece — maybe he should put more of a hand on that.
Launch Gallery: Zankov Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection
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