Ernest W Baker: “We had to become more flexible with things that are beyond our control”
As part of our Fashioning the Future series, we explore Ernest W Baker’s A / W 2021 collection
“For the past few months, we have been in the grip of an uncontrollable reality,” said Inès Amorim and Reid Baker – the duo behind Ernest W Baker – during the preview of their fall-winter 2021 collection. “As owners of business, uncertainty, anxiety and stress have been a constant in our lives. It really forced us to consider what matters and what we mean.
This feeling of not being in control led them to explore the phenomenon of lucid dreaming, “when you don’t control what happens but are aware of it”. Since 2016, the pair have been working in the settings of classic menswear and tailoring; now they’ve added a slight sag to the attire with handmade crochet, comfy faux furs, and fluffy knits. Sharp details in their flexibility.
Ernest W Baker: the juxtaposition of elegance and casual
F / W 2021 reflects an increasing ease in fashion which pushes an agenda to let go with panache. Pajamas are worn with a shirt and tie. The organic t-shirts are printed with pink graphics and jeans cut into a 1970s flared shape. A lush dress doubles as a coat. Hand-embroidered chenille tracksuits and diamond-patterned mohair cardigans add fun.
“It’s a little off the service,” says Baker. “It seemed inappropriate to me not to recognize what was going on in the world with the collection. It is based on last year’s uniform. We wanted to show a new way of doing it – this juxtaposition of elegance with casual. ‘
This more casual smart is also reflected in Ernest W Baker’s operations. In 2018, Amorim and Baker moved to the historic town of Viana do Castelo, in northern Portugal, where the Lima River meets the Atlantic Ocean, to get closer to their production. Everything is done within a radius of 30km from the studio.
“Our jobs have changed. We had to become more flexible with things that were beyond our control, ”they say. “If we’re going to roll with the punches right now, we wanted to build an aesthetic around that.” §