A relative newcomer to the game, s.k. manor hill debuted for SS16 with clothing inspired by vintage workwear and sportswear, as well as traditional garments from cultures across the world. Founder and designer, Dominic Sondag studied Graphic Design in his hometown of San Francisco, California and Fashion Design in Florence, Italy, then followed up his education by honing his craft as a member of Engineered Garments’ production and design teams. The time Sondag spent under EG designer, Daiki Suzuki, shows in the subtle historical details that surface in his garments: for example, the three-quarter length placket with an overlapping front on his Kalamazoo Shirt that pays homage to dress shirts from the 1920's. Yet, Sondag is not beholden to history; although the Folk Robe seems to be inspired by Japanese noragi, the designer has updated the traditional workwear garment by constructing it out of a luxurious wool/cotton blend and adding an ingenious hidden grosgrain strap that keeps the robe in place even when you wear it open. In many ways, s.k. manor hill is a brand that could only exist in the present: when cultural exchange and cultural appropriation are terms that find their way into Facebook feeds and mass media on a daily or weekly basis. Sondag clearly has deep respect for the cultures he draws inspiration from, which shows in the way he names, styles, and constructs his clothing. Every garment in the collection is produced in New York City, Sondag's place of residence since 2012, which gives the designer greater oversight of each step in the production process.
October 27, 2016