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'Shadow Dance' - February 2024 Collection by Harris Reed

Fashion designer Harris Reed is a boundary-pushing artist whose work sparks conversations and promotes gender fluidity and inclusivity. The creative process behind Reed's designs is deeply inspired by current social and political issues that the designer feels most connected to. For Reed, fashion is more than just clothes; it's a revolution - a powerful tool that can help create a more expressive and accepting world. This philosophy is reflected in the brand's overall DNA, which can best be described as Romanticism Gone Nonbinary.


The Inspiration Behind Harris Reed's 'Shadow Dance'

For Harris Reed's latest collection, 'Shadow Dance,' the designer delved into the world of Victoriana, taking inspiration from Nineteenth-century shadow puppets and illustrations of fairytale beings dancing around the room. These puppets synergized with Reed's design process as the silhouettes always appear first in a line-up of dramatic outlines. Once these silhouettes are defined, the process of placing fabrics and details commences. Reed found himself treating the sketches like paper dolls, placing different patterns and prints onto the shapes and 'dressing' the figures.


Images of Harris Reed's 'Shadow Dance' Collection, courtesy of Harris Reed.


This season, Reed was determined to find a way to work with color and print, departing from previous monochrome palettes. A chance meeting with luxury wallcovering experts Fromental led to a sustainable solution - repurposing and piecing together Fromental's archive silk wallpapers as fabrics. Paper backings were sponged away from precious single remaining vintage panels of hand-painted and embroidered wallpaper, some of which had over four hundred hours of embroidery work, showing a couture level of craftsmanship. This tactile process of working with limited existing panels, pattern cutting, and piecing back together to create something entirely new made the concept of paper dolls literal - like a child cutting up leftover wallpaper to make their doll a new dress.


Reed's collection features nods to Victoriana in the silhouettes, with corsetry continuing to be developed with exaggerated proportions at the hips and shoulders, emphasizing the contrasting nipped-in waists to create extreme silhouettes. Structure is countered with volume, as an oversized drape flows from a corseted waist, a ruched velvet skirt balloons from a sheer draped back dress, hand-beaded curtains give movement to a fitted form, and a slim black gown is given an oversized feather trim. Circular shapes have been a recurring theme since Reed's graduate collection and are revisited - on the exaggerated round lapel and curved sleeves of a blue silk embroidered jacket, in his signature crinoline skirts, and on this season's hats in collaboration with Vivienne Lake.


Images of Harris Reed's 'Shadow Dance' Collection, courtesy of Harris Reed.


About Harris Reed

Reed's campaign and relationship with Gucci have been widely acknowledged, but the designer is much more than that. Reed is an innovative key figure within the new generation of young creatives whose work marries genres from fashion, film, beauty, culture, and the digital world through a gender-fluid lens. Reed's personal style invites looks and stares, blurring the preconceived fault lines people have about gender and sexuality. The designer uses his platforms to share personal visionary values and to help those seeking acceptance and self-love.

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