Optimistic rebellion at Ernest W. Baker


Ernest W. Baker’s muse is feeling rebellious for Fall-Winter 2024. Following from last season’s exploration of childhood memories of summer vacations, Reid Baker and Ines Amorim turned to the idea of raiding a grandfather’s closet in search of inspiration. Within that, they studied the juncture of young and old in fashion, how youths perceive elders and vice versa. By juxtaposing the contrary elements, they arrived at a rebellious punk streak which contrasted their signature black and reds with pinstripes, mustard yellows and tartan patterns. Tailoring, trousers, and ties are accented with studs and spikes; reworked tailoring boasts large gold embellishments. Maintaining the illusion of elegance, so synonymous with the brand, remained crucial to their objectives. How they played with that drove them forward.

The designers also turned their lens to the pomp and circumstance that surrounds cinema: awards season. As the pair gain greater visibility in Hollywood, attracting the gaze of sartorial mavericks like A$AP Rocky, Emma Corrin, and Moses, amongst others, they channeled a more robust feeling of confidence and conviction into these latest looks. “With the garments, we’re taking this classic style and breaking it,” shared Baker, on a Zoom call from the studio in Porto, Portugal. By Paul McLauchlan.


What was your starting point for this collection?


The foundation of Ernest W. Baker is taking classic garments and reinterpreting them. That very simple element is usually how we start the collection. This season, we looked at adding some youthful rebellion. It’s also about maintaining that very elegant, chic approach to how we put it together. It’s fun to take a high-low approach to each collection. We love pushing the boundaries of what chic means to us and Ernest W. Baker. While trying to find the highest level of chic, we’re always interested in inserting these very contrary elements. 


Ernest W. Baker is very connected to the world of cinema. What direction did you take that in this season?


We were looking at this concept of awards ceremonies and what they really mean or represent to us and culture at large. We played around with this idea in our video and lookbook. We’re always developing the collections with a character in mind and, this season, in both the lookbook and collection video, we created our own characters taking place in this made up awards ceremony. The video reflects this feeling as it is very moody and emotional. We shot at a bingo hall built in the 70s in Porto, which helped build this grandiose feeling that is portrayed in awards ceremonies


What are you optimistic about in fashion in 2024?


It’s an exciting but unpredictable time [for fashion]. For the longest period of time, fashion has been in this cycle where the wheel has been moving at a constant pace. As we’re heading into 2024, the traditional fashion wheel is starting to break down and I feel like I’m optimistic about how, when something begins to break down, there will be the birth of something new. There are many young, independent labels who are able to adapt as the industry changes, so I’m keeping an eye on this and seeing how new ideas integrate themselves into our working processes and continue to push what it means to [be a fashion designer]. We’re [also] continuing to expand and develop our ideas of what it means to put together a collection and how we present this. Our primary intention every season is to focus on the garments, making sure that they are made to the highest level.