Nadine Ijewere photographed Ulla Johnson’s new look book in Jamaica. Lush tropical surroundings complement the collection, which is vibrant with colours, prints and textures. Flipping through the Pre-Fall collection released so far reveals a sea of beige and brown. not here. The brightly patterned look in Slide 1 was locally sewn in Bangalore using silk Harbotey “stamping” and no two panels are alike.
Johnson is passionate about bringing that human touch into her offerings, even as her brand grows with each season. Some denim, an expanded category for the designer, has been hand-painted, a result she describes as somewhere between camouflage and watercolor. The crochet set is a clear example of her love for the craft. Some pieces this season were entirely circular, giving them a particularly understated feel.
All in all, Johnson also focused on lifting, which she achieved this season with fabric development and silhouettes. It was only at her spring show that she showed her first real evening gown. While the fancy dresses here are anything but traditional, they still impress, especially the long, open-back lamé jacquard dress, whose densely patterned surface shimmers like a landscape, and one embroidered with Cape-style A-line gown inspired by Serbian textiles The one from Johnson’s collection—her mother is Serbian.
A long-awaited store in Los Angeles is opening in April. The collection, which will be delivered in about a month, is as at home in Jamaica in sunny surroundings.