NYFW: Ulla Johnson fuses the handmade with the commercial

As the first full day of NYFW rolled out, kickstarting a season that spans the fashion capitals, we were treated to a number of stellar collections, Ulla Johnson for one.

Her presentation was a carefully considered lineup of the things she does best, namely feminine bohemian dresses with a twist. This season, Johnson looked to the artisanal craftsmanship of the Herero tribeswomen of Namibia, and infused the idea of handmade qualities into some very commercial pieces.

Fluid long dresses were made up of a patchwork of print that resembled batik patterns, halter tops were made from textural components such as hand-woven raffia while delicate beading formed the graphic patterns in a frilled sleeve top or edged the cutwork, infused into the full sleeves of Victorian-esque pieces. Decorative, graceful and poetic, these romantic looks spoke to an eclectic story that allude to a developing trend, Common Ground, we’ve been reporting over on WGSN. It explores the urge to rediscover our roots, and seek out things that connect us, coming through in the form of homespun and craft techniques.


Fashion month can be overwhelming. With so much coverage on social media it’s easy to feel inspired, but how can you decipher which trends to test vs. which to invest? Head here for all of WGSN’s catwalk offerings to help navigate you through frenetic show-hopping, and social media storm. 

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