Olivia Millar


This Autumn / Winter 20 collection is inspired by Harlem in the 1970’s when poverty and crime was at it’s highest and riots drove people to leave the city in an exodus. Therefore giving New York City, including Harlem, the reputation of being the ‘Fear City.’

In 1970 due to riots breaking out following from the assasination of Malcolm X, crime and violence was on an increase, whilst the living conditions and income were on the decline. This lead to the people who could afford to, moving out of Harlem in search for a safer neighbourhood. Therefore, this left behind the less wealthier of people and the local residents who refused to move. This will be the main drive behind this collection, inspiration will come from the culture of Harlem at the time and lifestyle of those who stayed - the local residents who came together as a community and as one, thrived in their culture.

For example, research and inspiration will come from the mis-match of garments and layers people wore, as due to the lack of income Harlem residents would make outfits from primarily mixing and matching items and throwing on anything they had / could find / afford. This meant lots of mis-matching of prints and colours, which will be an element that also will drive this womenswear collection.

Key features of this collection will also come from strong themes throughout Harlem at the time, such as the iconic ‘Welcome to Fear City’ Survivors guide to visitors which was posted up all around the city. The main skull image from this poster will be incorporated in to the collection, through ways such as a print on the back of an considered proportioned coat.

Regarding the colour palette for this collection, it will include vibrant and bright colours, with a couple of neutral tones to balance it out, such as mustard, magenta pink and a dark brown. All colours are quite feminine and therefore will apeal to the female target customer aged between 20-26.

The silhouette for this A/W 20 capsule will come from influences such as the vietnam war uniform, Miles Davis famous suit’s with strong shoulder lines and dolman sleeves, and elements of classic tailoring will be a common element throughout.



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