Henry Zankov is in a lazy mood in autumn. “I’m thinking about seduction and nurturing,” he said in a talk at a gallery space in Tribeca. It’s easy to be captivated by the soft, enveloping texture of a gorgeous knitted sweater, but he wanted to push it further. “It’s more about expressing a subtle sexuality through bright and intense color,” he says, “how do we seduce not just by exposing our bodies, but through colour, pattern, material and texture?”
Seduction begins with dresses and openwork intarsia knit pieces, creating a DNA chain pattern. A zip-up jacket in cobalt blue was interrupted by a brown, curved stripe that matched the shape of the body: “It was a way for us to play with shape and introduce our version of the outerwear,” Zankov said. One of the best pieces is a collaboration with artist Daniel Reynolds, whose work hangs on the showroom wall. Reynolds’ work has a wide, expressive color spectrum, one of his pieces is a white square painted wildly in neon pink, the expressiveness of his logo perfectly reproduced through screen printing, is On a dainty white maxi long-sleeve sweater.
The skirt is embroidered with sequins and then screen printed. They have an alluring opaque sheen, especially when paired with oversized sweaters. It’s a country that’s a little bit trashy, a little bit cozy. Likewise, oversized sweater robes and maxi dresses have the instant appeal of heirloom blankets. One is chocolate-brown and the other gray – both sport the designer’s signature variegated stripes in this season’s bright hues. They’re shaggy mohair alpaca on the outside, but lined with wool on the inside to avoid itching. “A lot of the material this season was more extreme,” Zankov said. “They’re brushed, they’re softer, they have looser stitching, so it’s a cuddly, cuddled feeling.”