Focus: YON - Q&A WITH THE DESIGNERS
Released in two parts, YON returns to St. Agni’s signature framework of minimalism and purposeful design, evoking a sense of calm through its subtle palette and soothing shapes. We spoke with designers Lara and Erika, about the influences behind YON and creating collections to be worn with an existing wardrobe.
YON is the most recent collection for St. Agni, can you speak to the inspiration and creative process behind the pieces?
L: The inspiration for this collection was monastic minimalism. We wanted the collection to feel calm but strong, focusing on tailoring and minimal detailing.
E: We always focus on minimalist designs that are our core and that are crafted with longevity in mind, to be worn throughout the seasons. As Lara mentioned, we took a monastic direction, colours inspired by lotus tea, creating a collection that conveyed a sense of calm and relaxation.
Touching on the footwear and accessories from YON we see some structure and clean lines. What inspired this element of the collection?
L: Erika and I always aim to create pieces that transcend for seasons to come, footwear and accessories are somewhat signature to the St. Agni DNA. Over the seasons the offering has evolved to mirror the ready to wear collections, something we always revisit when designing is the simplicity of each item, keeping versatility and longevity in mind it seems natural these pieces have elements of structure and clean lines. Throughout YON we introduced new heel designs and played with different shapes and silhouettes in the accessories to elevate the nonchalance of the apparel.
E: These are elements that are at the core of everything we do. The elevated nature of our designs are captured by creating pieces that exude beauty through translating our ‘less is more’ philosophy. The YON accessory and footwear offering was inspired by a return to minimalism focusing on updating and refining our existing footwear and accessory shapes, bringing signature St. Agni elements like our woven leather and reinventing it to sit alongside current and future collections.
The palette selection for YON is true to the brand yet evokes a sense of calm, do you think there is a correlation between feelings, what we choose to wear or dressing to suit your mood?
L: I feel as though our mood influences what we choose to wear, but also what we choose to wear can influence our mood. I always feel strong when I dress in a monochrome palate and then calmer when I choose neutrals.
E: I think our designs are always related to our feelings at the time that we are designing the pieces. When we were designing the YON collection we were still uncertain about what was going to happen with the world and feeling some fear about the future, so I think we tried to translate our mood of trying to be calm and positive about everything, to keep going, and to manifest that everything will be alright.
YON echoes minimalism, a signature framework to the brand, what defines minimalism to you both?
L: Minimalism for me is about keeping designs uncomplicated. The details lie in the shapes, textures and natural palette of the collection - this will always be key for us as a brand.
E: Minimalism is a balance between simple and smart, our designs translate a way of life we believe in, buying with intention ultimately leads to buying less, investing in pieces that imbue versatility and longevity.
Each St. Agni collection is created with intent and purpose, particularly when it comes to material selection, what textures and fabrications have been selected for YON and why?
L: We worked with a variety of fabrications that we have worked with in the past and will continue to use for future collections as we love the textures and know that they are much more eco-friendly than many other fabrications out there. We are always learning and exploring new materials.
E: Our focus in each collection is to become more conscious and able to trace every single fabric that we use. For YON we chose to work with beautiful hemp and silk blends, TENCEL, wool, and cotton. All of which are beautiful, comfortable and considered.
The pieces in YON seamlessly fit into existing pieces of previous collections and one's staple wardrobe, what have you enjoyed wearing the most thus far?
L: We always try to design collections that fit seamlessly with past and future collections. My favourite piece from the collection is the Arlen Reversible Trench – it’s a staple piece I find so easy to wear.
E: My favourite pieces that I cannot take it off are the Mona Trousers, Nicci Shirt and Shin Sandals.