Moving the Needle with Bianca Saunders

London fashion designer and founder of the eponymous brand, Bianca Saunders got down and dirty thirty for her birthday last week in Sweeties
Following the festivities, we caught up with Bianca and had a chat about black puffer jackets, Caribbean culture and the permeable boundaries of masculinity.
Can you speak a bit to the concept of ‘play’ in your designs?
The concept of play in my work is all about exploring. I do a lot of observing how people wear clothes, and that's what kind of influences my design process. I work with the mannequin when I'm designing so it’s all about how the clothes actually will be worn; how they will get positioned when someone puts their hands in the pocket. That sort of thing I find very interesting. These sorts of gestures influence my menswear quite a lot.

How do you define masculinity in 2023?
I have definitely seen a lot more music artists embracing different sides of masculinity. People like Harry Styles and ASAP Rocky have opened a lot of guys up to exploring their masculinity and exploring themselves. I also think we've become more of a world where we listen to each other more. I think that ever since the pandemic, we have actually been taking our time to discover new parts of ourselves. 
In a moment like this, it's quite great to have a brand like mine that all people feel comfortable in. I’ve had some really nice messages from women who like embracing their masculine side and they feel so comfortable wearing my clothes because they aren’t restrained to these traditional boundaries of menswear or womenswear. So, it's nice to support people in that way, in feeling confident and feeling themselves.

Can you define London style in five wardrobe staples?
  1. Straight leg jeans

  2. Black puffer jackets

  3. Oversized coats

  4. Nike activewear caps

  5. Bodywarmers

How does Caribbean culture inspire and influence your work?
The Caribbean is the flavouring of my work, particularly in terms of styling. A lot of the pieces that I design are influenced by what I've seen in my family photographs and that sort of stuff. I feel like in Caribbean culture, the borders of masculinity are more blurred in a way. Men take care of themselves like quite a lot when it comes to personal grooming and styling. Menswear is more on the tight-fitted side than more of a looser fit, and just looking your best is something that is very prideful in the Carribean.

How do you maintain and define your own personal style in a world so inundated with trends?

I think I definitely go for the more or less more approach. I always wear something from my brand like my Green Rex bomber jacket and my Bianca Saunders cargo trousers
What music do you listen to to get your creative juices flowing in the studio?

I listen to a lot of disco samples. I have a full playlist— then it goes into a mix of garage music and then Afro beats. My music playlist is very random. I try to keep it like very much upbeat because fashion is so busy, we just keep the momentum going in the studio.

Where is your favourite place in London to let loose?

I've had the best memories at The Standard. I'll never forget one night I went out with my friend, I think it was like a Love Magazine party. We met Billy Porter and Tyler the Creator, it was a pretty iconic night.

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