Samuel Ross is perfecting the art of transitional clothing.
Treated as more than a parenthetical, A-COLD-WALL*'s latest pre-season range — Pre-Fall 2022 — is tailored to the many needs, both practical and aesthetic, of today's customer.
Ross's intentionality is refreshing amid a landscape of endless (and sometimes seemingly pointless) product. "We spend endless hours determining the visual language of each garment," the designer tells Highsnobiety.
For Pre-FW22, he focuses on increasing consumer need for clothing that performs in both the physical and digital world — a prescient move, considering the rise of the metaverse.
"We design and engineer garments to live on social surfaces and digital spaces, as much as we do real-time functionality," Ross explains.
"All of us experience garments through the metaverse at this point, so we’ve decided to integrate that consideration into product aesthetics," he adds, providing examples of the collection's online and offline smarts: "hyper graphic" prints are designed to stand out, even through a screen; double-layered fabrics hold up to physical wear and tear; recycled fleece considers the reality of climate change.
This merging of the digital and the IRL is further expressed through the collection's campaign, starring rapper Pa Salieu.
"Pa embodies the cadence and texture that has informed our pre-collections since we’ve began developing them," Ross says, specifying that the British artist has an ease about him that signals the very design ethos of A-COLD-WALL*: protection, insulation, and volume.
As for the collection's investment-worthy pieces, Ross picks out two key garments: a double-layered storm jacket ("it's the result of intense, yet sensible design choices") and a wadded gilet in a palette of tones plucked from cityscapes.
Fashion is weathering enormous change, brought on by a slew of intimidating realities: the pandemic; technology that, each day, more and more resembles a sci-fi movie; global warming.
As all meaningful fashion does, A-COLD-WALL* holds a mirror to our present concerns, offering us a sort of armor for the here and now.