“When I started designing this collection, things were feeling a bit more positive…but on February 24, Russia decided to invade Ukraine,” New York designer Maria McManus said during a preview of her resort collection, adding that the dark climate brought to mind William Butler Yeats’ poem “The Second Coming.” For more than 100 years, the poem has been debated and interpreted — to McManus, “hope is the only option.”
Since launching her namesake brand two years ago, mid-pandemic, the designer has held an ethos of offering pieces that do less harm and offer ample wearability. While an oversize wool scarf bearing the poem’s text, “The falcon cannot hear the falconer. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold,” served as a direct reference, the rest of her collection was designed with the conscious ethos in mind, using responsible, traceable materials and strong attention to details.
The look: Conscious luxury.
Quote of note: “From my perspective, it was looking at this as a deeper realization for first-world countries that we cannot rely on fossil fuels from dictators and autocrats from now on. Hopefully, this will be the impetus to make countries swap over to cleaner energy — wouldn’t it be great if some good came out of the horrific things happening in Eastern Europe,” she said.
Key pieces: Strong, corseted blazers (with biodegradable linings, exposed zippers, double-needle stitching hand-finished in New York) and tailored pencil skirts in menswear pinstripes and houndstooth; a faux leather dress and pencil skirt made of Global Recycled Standard certified recycled polyester; signature “teardrop” recycled cashmere and organic cotton knits with curved vent backs (or more sporty, bi-color hooded knits); an oversize sheer beige cupro shirt (certified by the Recycled Claim Standard); sleek trousers (both high-waisted and cropped or low-waisted with pleats, wide legs and double-needle stitch detailing); scuba bike shorts; a refined cream coat in extra fine merino boucle.
The takeaway: McManus’ attention to detail and conscious approach continues to propel her sharp, luxury fashions each season.