Maria McManus presents her fall collection at her home in Tribeca. Yellow knitwear (butter and lemon) on the shelf immediately draws attention. McManus recently watched Sinéad O’Connor’s documentary and was struck by how much she suffered for what she believed in during the 1990 years.
“I lived in Ireland in the 90 years and I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw this documentary,” she recalls. “Then I read an interview in The Times where she said, ‘I’m happy, I never wanted to be famous anyway, and it made me think, how can you change that?'” McManus is a designer, but essentially In fact, she is an environmentalist, and when dating, she usually begins by detailing new materials, sources and products that she can use. The Sinéad influence was more of a vibe, and it added a little raw edge to the clothes.
The big news this season is a fabric called “Naia Renew,” which McManus has been experimenting with for a while. It’s a biodegradable material with a silky feel, made from % sustainably sourced wool pulp and % recycled waste. It’s also made on a ‘closed loop’, meaning the water and chemicals used to make it are recycled, so it has a lower environmental impact. Of course, these developments would mean nothing if McManus wasn’t making clothes that were so desirable; there was a white padded trench coat with minimal fringe, and a black bomber jacket with a slight sheen that looked like leather. Another highlight included recycled polyester vests embroidered with deadstock pearlescent teardrops. The collection features all of McManus’ signature elements: beautiful knitwear made from recycled yarns, like Aran’s sweater, which is intentionally distressed with a few “drop stitches,” and her suits, precisely cut from Japanese fabrics.