Moody, rainy and dark, Ernest W. Baker’s collection reflects the troubled state of the world this season, influenced by her work with Ukrainian director and photographer Vladimir Kaminetsky, who helmed the brand’s fashion week film. In the pouring rain outside, the models walk in an array of tailored suits, leather jumpsuits, sleeveless jackets and bright bomber shorts sets, both overwhelmed and disconnected from the elements.
The collection is like rummaging through your grandfather’s closet, a pinstripe blazer here and a knitted polo there. That’s the aim of design duo Reid Baker and Ines Amorim, who take inspiration from Milan’s stylish elders for the classic pieces that they update in more generous proportions. The influences of the 1970s are evident in their best-selling flared trousers, and the nod to the decade goes even deeper this season with an additional color combination of rust and gold. Mafioso references also trickle through, particularly in gold chains and chunky pinky rings.
Pink checks were another addition, and crocheted floral accents add a sense of lightness and deepen the idea of a child playing dressed up in adult clothing.
Producing everything just a few kilometers from their base in Porto, Portugal, they work with a small team of local artisans to create their knitwear. It’s a dying art, they note, and all workers are in their 60s and use techniques passed down from generation to generation.
“We’re building on the strong, enduring foundation of the brand,” said Baker of the ethos of small batches and slow fashion. “We practically work together [the artisans]and it allows us to control everything and really focus on all the details.” The traditional, handcrafted feel is a hit with celebrities (Harry Styles and Justin Bieber are fans) and will resonate with shoppers.