Leaning further into the minimalist vein, Maria McManus looked to American abstract painter Agnes Martin for her pre-fall inspiration.
Taking from Martin’s calming palettes of her 1954 “The Blue Bird and Mid Winter” and 1963 gold leaf “Friendship,” the designer imbued shades of bronze metallic foil, bluebell, bitter chocolate and neutrals into her pre-fall lineup of new knitwear, updated chic suiting, and new takes on shirt dressing.
Beyond the artist’s painterly minimalist and Abstract Expressionist artworks, McManus noted Martin’s relationship with meditation, Buddhism and Taoism, and the way those studies were reflected in her works.
“She would go into a really quiet place, and then the work would come to her, but it could take a really long time, which is like the antithesis of the fashion industry — when you don’t have that long time to contemplate one piece and get them all out every three months,” McManus said. It’s a point that the sustainability-bent designer is mindful of each season through her designs and eco-conscious materials.
In addition, pin-striped elongated painter shirtdresses, square neck and polo tops, and monochromatic blouses with rounded sleeves subtly nodded to Martin’s personal style, while her geometric paintings served as the background to McManus’ open-stitch lattice work sweaters, pleated and color-blocked easy dresses and sheer pencil skirts.
The collection offered an extension of McManus’ sustainable, elevated world, best seen through the inspiration’s translation of new space-dye knits (in signature recycled cashmere and organic cotton) or signature tailored blazers (now with cropped proportions), which could easily be paired for the summer months with her suiting shorts, sultry little mesh-knit tanks and a continuation of knit panties.