We were in Paris, at a presentation space near the Atlas metro, for this preface to a new geographical chapter in the progress of Samuel Ross and A-Cold-Wall. Ross, who prior to the pandemic had been showing Italian made collections in Milan, had kept news of the two presentations and two raves he threw here during fashion week (one as a part of a collaboration with Converse) extremely close to the vest. “We are slowly loading into Paris,” he said, then dropped that he plans to present A-Cold-Wall’s next collection here in a show format in January (read into that what you will).
This lookbook is mostly concerned with the atelier-finished pieces that right now Ross is most creatively stimulated by. Or as he put it: “I wanted to be a lot closer in the making of the clothes. And you can’t use these techniques if you try and operate at scale, because they have to be done by local hands in the atelier. But this produces garments of true beauty and I have fallen love with this side of the work.” The opening piece was a prime example of Ross’s new approach. Full of volume, tactically pocketed, with removable arms, cut in eco-leather, and patterned with a distorted Carrera leather relief, this much worked upon coat was then finished with a stencil paint treatment.
Favorites for me included the last look jacket in rich hand-hued garment-dyed and painted ripstop and a subtly patinated chore jacket produced in conjunction with Timberland (but not in this lookbook), part of a six piece co-project. What’s not especially apparent either on the garments hanging statically in the showroom or in these pictures is that most of them were developed with built-in wiring to allow the wearer to shape the garment to his or her specifications. Observed Ross: “the focus it to allow distortion without overcooking it.”
Alongside this impressive section of work was a higher-volume, manufattura made collection that will be more widely available and accessibly priced. It included core house pieces such as a front-slung tactical pack, chest rigs, zip-ups, and so on. Less layered than the atelier pieces and therefore arguably more direct, this element of the season’s output featured lots of cool detailing like the A-shape cut-outs at the base of collars on shirting and sleek piping on knitwear, a category I hadn’t seen here before. Bienvenu à Paris, Dr. Ross.