Despite Insufferable humidity and a malfunctioning air-conditioning system at Spring Studios — New York Fashion Week’s central hub —showgoers are clinging to their knits and you’d be hard-pressed to find one who doesn’t already own a Henry Zankov.

The 2023 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist may have garnered attention in the thick of work-from-home culture, but lucky for him sweater dressing is one of the few trends from those days that’s actually stuck, so maybe his brand could, too. It takes creative ingenuity to make a seasonal category work year-round and that’s exactly the muscle he flexed for spring. 

Zankov titled the collection, “Lighten up” as a reminder to himself. “The way I move through life, I get really serious about things,” he explained inside the Chelsea gallery space where his presentation was held.

Channeling the motto into lighter weights, last fall’s open-weaving returned, but daintier in gingham lace topped with iridescent sequins. Extra-fine gauge cotton was worked on the bias for extra slouch, while one of Zankov’s tubular dresses had recycled cellophane inserts, allowing skin to breathe between vertical strips of bouclé. 

Zankov said he wanted to “seduce,” with his color palette, taking inspiration from semi-precious stones like rhodolite, chrysocolla and sunstone, which carried over into first accessory: tiny alpaca pouches perfect to store healing crystals in for added positive vibes. 

On the menswear front, Zankov used drop needle techniques for vests and cardigans with a disheveled quality to contrast some of his preppier pieces. Zankov continues to think outside of his knitwear bubble. He loves classic shirting, reworking it for a cool pair of board shorts in mixed banker stripes with sleeve attachments that tied around the waist. 

Zankov also loves a tie-in with other artists and here there were two: digital fruit prints from London-based illustrator Helen Bullock and pulpit chairs by Brooklyn-based sculptor Thomas Barger to set the scene.

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