“Tenderness, ability, warmth and intimacy” — are words that Jonathan Simkhai used to describe the images from his namesake label’s Fall 2021 collection. Each shot in the collection campaign and corresponding video (filmed during lockdown in LA) is beautiful, but they’re also the designer’s way of celebrating the art of dance.
With theaters and most indoor venues closed, live shows at a standstill, and an entire industry of creatives out of work, Simkhai wanted to take an opportunity to uplift dancers who had little outlet for their craft at the time. “Imagining this campaign sparked a desire to support artists during a time when all performances nationally were shut down,” the creative director tells BAZAAR. “The aching impulse to consume art was overwhelming for so many.”
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For its fall lineup, the brand highlighted the thorough-line between dance and fashion with a free-flowing collection completely inspired by movement. Lensed by Daniel Shea, Simkhai’s team tapped the elite California-based troop Jacob Jonas The Company to bring each piece to life through motion, captured on a blue-sky background.
“Recognizing that the performative arts, a groundwork for culture in Los Angeles, was essentially fully shut down due to the pandemic, it felt very important and necessary to support this community and attempt to amplify the talent of young dancers and choreographers,” Simkhai explains, “We wanted to capture the complexities of closeness and movement that was void for most during this time.”
The garments themselves include both ribbed and cable-knits in flowing silhouettes with strategic cutouts. “Fashion is more like dance than anything,” Simkhai says. “While creating a garment, [it] must be conceptualized as a moveable breathable thing and seeing how it moves is best visualized through dance.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.
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