Aaron Potts, designer of avant-garde (yet approachable) clothing, presented his Spring 2022 collection on the second day of New York Fashion Week, and elated joy decorated his face as his latest lineup was shown to the public. With his assortment of unisex, genderless, avant-garde garments, he absolutely earned the glory of his successful show titled “I Love You Cuz You’re Mine.”
The pieces themselves are inspired in part by the Hamar and Bana tribes of Ethiopia, the film Daughters of the Dust, the Great Migration, and the spirit of Afroamericana. This eccentric blend of cultures and voices resulted in what resembles patchwork western clothing painted over with the natural inks of Ethiopian culture. The Americana flavor of denim and eyelet cotton stands toe-to-toe with the African concepts of masculinity and femininity.
The collection is described as “a story of earthbound angels, lightness, movement, and joy,” and this lightness and movement is evident in Potts’s choice to rely heavily on flowing dresses and skirts. Almost every piece is decked out in fringe of one sort or another. Dresses dissolve the lower they go, as does the denim skirt, and the included bonnet-esque head-ware features an almost sunshine-array of fringe in all directions, recalling African headdress in the same moment it reminds of the delicate exception to the harsh American West.
The reasoning for presenting androgynous garments isn’t exactly random; Potts looked to the cultures of Ethiopia and Eastern Africa, and told them, “I was intrigued because their ideas of masculinity and femininity are so different from ours… Masculinity to some of them, in a Western context, would look so feminine.” He finishes this by adding, “Gender expression is so contextual to culture.”
The most aesthetically pleasing piece to look at would likely be the dress made of an array of patchwork textures, with navy blue sitting atop a seemingly randomized display of pink and peach cut-cloth. One thinks of a Sunday morning dress stitched lovingly together by a grandmother or a dress passed along for generations. It’s confident, attractive, and appears well-made.
With a career spanning a mere three years (A.Potts as a brand was born in 2018), Potts has proved his grit through genderless, expressionistic, and symbolic clothing. As exciting as past showings have been, the Spring-Summer 2022 one was an absolute marvel to behold.