Blouson Noir

Stylist-turned-designer Melanie Ward releases her debut collection

Text by Annabel White

Vol 6iss 212

The tea towel is not the most conventional inspiration for a collection, but then Melanie Ward is not a conventional designer. First known for her work as a stylist, particularly her early collaborations with Kate Moss, Ward was a pioneer of fashion’s minimalist movement in the 1990s. After working as creative director for Helmut Lang and John Galliano, she has now turned to design, teaming up with knitwear designer Graham Tabor to create the label Blouson Noir. The debut collection contrasts casual cotton suiting, shorts and skirts against tan leather garments, Native American-esque fringing and the odd bustier for underwear-as-outerwear cool. Ward and Tabor have also collaborated with photographer and illustrator Miguel Villalobos, who designed simple scarf prints that perfectly complement the casual, dressed-down look that runs through Blouson Noir’s first collection. And the tea towel? Look for its legacy in the homespun textures and patterns, muted stripes, durability and functionality of the cotton garments that form the basis of every outfit. Everything you need in your kitchen, in catwalk form. §

All clothes by Blouson Noir

Photography: Jamie Isaia / Styling: Chloe Kerman / Hair: Cecilia Romero at Artlist New York using Bumble and bumble / Make-up: Gina Crozier at Ray Brown Pro using Smashbox Cosmetics / Lighting director: David Diesing / Digital technician: Aurélie Graillot / Styling assistant: Ashley Fraser / Production: Sarah Frick Smith / Model: Ali Lagarde at IMG 


  • Blouson Noir