Bethany Williams Spring 2022 Is An Ode To Childhood Stories

Bethany Williams Spring 2022 Is An Ode To Childhood Stories

Order Now

Bethany Williams Spring 2022 Is An Ode To Childhood Stories

The sustainable designer kicked off London Fashion Week with a powerful reflection on folklore and community.

The sustainable designer kicked off London Fashion Week with a powerful reflection on folklore and community.

Text: Bailey Bujnosek

Bethany Williams knows the power of stories. The UK-based sustainable designer’s Spring 2022 collection, aptly titled All Our Stories, is a celebration of the tales we pass from generation to generation—the ones that bring us together, reflect the values that are important to us, and remain timeless even after a dozen tellings. With a playful primary-color palette and functional-meets-fun silhouettes, Williams’ collection started London Fashion Week off on an energetic note.

Williams gathered the stories that inspire her collection through storytelling workshops with the Magpie Project, a charity that helps homeless women and children. The workshops were run by artist Melissa Kitty Jarram, who later illustrated what would become the prints for the collection. “What we noticed through the story-telling workshops, was that the moral in each story always came back to kindness, care, and respect for one another and how these traits, whilst important in childhood, have just as much meaning in adult life,” Williams said in a statement.

Image: Bethany Williams/Christina Ebenezer

The collection’s themes are brought to life not only in Jarram’s optimistic, vibrant art, but also in the form of a spoken word poem by Eno Mfon featured in the collection video. Mfon’s moving poem perfectly conveys how stories live within the communities that invent them. Community is a major element of Williams’ collection—besides her abovementioned collaborations, the designer worked with social manufacturing partner Making for Change Poplar Works and anti-waste consultancy Mending For Good to incorporate wool waste into the garments.

Image: Bethany Williams/Christina Ebenezer

While its bold colorways are the first thing to catch one’s eye, the compelling silhouettes of All Our Stories deserve equal attention. Flared trousers are offset by a boxy button-down. A casual printed sweater and matching vest demonstrate the designer’s finesse with knitwear. Even when the garments err on being oversized, there is a sense of fit and intention in their form.

Image: Bethany Williams/Christina Ebenezer

More neutral pieces in the collection include a breezy white dress. Colorful detail adorns the shoulder and sides of the skirt, appearing as though they are breaking through the blank canvas of the dress. At the same time, the garment’s tapered puff-sleeves curb the looser aspects of the design. The collection also features two corsets created with Welsh designer Rosie Evans. In the corsets, traditional boning is replaced with material from fruit packaging waste. 

Image: Bethany Williams/Christina Ebenezer
Image: Bethany Williams/Christina Ebenezer

Another standout is a tailored white suit from amongst the collection’s menswear. Inspired by a 19th-century children’s skeleton suit, the piece’s clean design offers a break from the noise of the collection’s dominant color palette. However, the plainness of the suit does not sacrifice the sense of youthfulness inherent to the collection. The suit’s subtle sleeve details add a hint of the childlike to the typically staid fare.

Image: Bethany Williams/Christina Ebenezer

With her Spring 2022 collection, Williams once again raises the bar for sustainable and socially responsible fashion. The thought that went into the collection, from inspiration to production, is tangible. Each garment from All Our Stories feels part of a cohesive vision, one infused with the spirit of the stories which so enraptured us in childhood. One that wouldn’t be possible without a community of families, creatives, and manufacturers working together to bring it to life.

UP NEXT

McQueen's New Moment
Sarah Burton blends structured accessories, voluminous shapes, and eye-popping colors for a street-ready take on the brand’s signature romanticism