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FW21 Inspiration.

The 3sixteen logo on a tan background with black letters.

A collage of photos of surrealist art, Hans Arp shapes, people handweaving fabric on old wooden looms, camoflauge, boro fabric swatches.

After enduring a full year of a global pandemic, a tumultuous election cycle, and months marked by immense difficulties, we had many questions on our minds as we sat down to work on FW21. The past year has caused us to rethink how we interact with the clothing we own and make, and how we can act more responsibly as a brand given the choices we have before us. Functionality and comfort were a large part of our SS21 collection and we sought to carry this idea forward as we welcomed the idea of clothing playing new roles for everyone in turbulent times. SS21 featured breathable Tencel fabrics and smooth, water repellant cottons, but for FW21 we’ve leaned more heavily into functionality and have elected to build the collection around warm woolens and hard-wearing cotton workwear fabrics. We talk often about wanting 3sixteen garments to stand the test of time in both longevity and style, and so as we developed FW21, we dove into our brand’s archives to revisit favorite pieces from seasons past.

Nothing that we design is ever done in a vacuum, but for this particular season (and the one that preceded it) tangible reference points emerged out of a very  unstable time. Conceptually, we found ourselves resonating with the Dada and Surrealist art movements as we developed this season. Dada, the precursor to surrealism, was a direct response to the global carnage of WWI. Everything felt absurd in the wake of the war and nothing seemed to make sense. A small collective of Swiss artists sought to capture this feeling of inanity they felt about the state of the world. The art ranged across a variety of mediums but was connected in its rejection of realism, rationality, and unchecked idealism, proving to be a mirror into what the artists saw as the true nature of the post-war world. This paved the way for the Surrealist movement that would sweep through Europe and become the defining art movement of the early 20th century. Looking back on 2020, we connected with this feeling of disillusionment but also felt a pang of optimism as we considered the possibilities of the future.

The interplay of hearty workwear fabrics alongside traditional menswear textiles is central to FW21. Heavy twills, canvases, and herringbones are contrasted with flowing hand-loomed khadi and soft woolens. Heritage workwear silhouettes are updated with unique detailing and trims while traditional fabrics are used in subversive ways. It’s a collection of unexpected juxtapositions.

Our lookbook releases shortly, followed by the first delivery of FW21 in early September.

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