The show of their Spring/Summer 2022 collection, Adrenaline, took place in a dimly lit underground car park in the murky depths of Central London. Models stomped down the runway to a clashing industrial soundtrack as though emerging from the apocalypse in torn skirts and stained leather. The collection embodied the fierceness and resilience of the Knwls woman, planting her in a post-apocalyptic future where clothes are deconstructed and maximalist. Combining dystopia and nostalgia, 90s silhouettes are shredded and layered. Skin-baring sexiness was captured in cut-outs, micro-minis and bustiers. The contrast between these sensual garments and the show’s dark atmosphere elevated the strength in femininity that Knowles and Arsenault continually champion.
Fashion has been flirting with the apocalypse a lot lately; perhaps as an apt response to the current times. But for Knwls, isn’t about doom and gloom. Instead, the theme served as a starting point to create an armour for the woman who’s ready for anything. Drawing comparisons to post-apocalyptic and sci-fi films like Mad Max and Dune, the collection captured the cultural zeitgeist as we emerge from the pandemic into a changed world. Knowles and Arsenault design emotionally, translating their feelings about the world through careful craftsmanship. Crisscross straps and shredded fabric purposefully create a feeling of effortless disarray. Emotions about the present transmute into a powerful vision for the future. The designers defy patriarchal structures, rewriting the rules to propose a hopeful alternative, a world where women are not harassed, judged or disrespected.