5 things to know about Ulla Johnson’s vibrant SS24 show

By Emily Chan

Ulla Johnson’s colourful spring/summer '24 collection looked at circles in nature and art, via a collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Shara Hughes. Below, see Vogue’s five key takeaways from the designer’s New York Fashion Week show, which was watched from the front row by long-time fan Katie Holmes.


The collection was inspired by circles

For spring/summer 2024, Johnson was thinking about circles in nature, as well as in art – and how the two intersect. “[The starting point] was really the circle, and in general, a larger meditation on nature,” the designer tells Vogue. “The painterly gesture has also always been an inspiration. I became fascinated with the idea of the circle as part of the landscape, but then also how one can kind of evolve and deconstruct the circle.”


There were circles in the form of the sun, featured in the landscape prints that opened the show, as well as in the geometric crochet pieces and the organza corsage-like detailing.


There was a collaboration with artist Shara Hughes

While Ulla Johnson has long been known for its prints, this season’s were arguably more graphic in nature – thanks to a collaboration with Brooklyn-based artist Shara Hughes. “This collaboration was the first of its kind for us, to do a print based on an artist’s work,” the designer says. “I have long admired Shara’s sense of colour and the dynamic quality of her landscape: hyper-saturated and surrealistic.” The collection features prints based on three of Hughes’s paintings: “Tuck” (2021), “Ignoring the Present” (2018), and “Cherry in Lace” (2022).


Vibrant colours featured throughout

The bold colours seen in Hughes’s work were also present in the monochromatic looks featured in the collection, from shirt dresses to lace and silk slips. “I just loved this strong, graphic juxtaposition,” Johnson explains. “I think in a lot of ways the prints come alive even more when paired with these beautiful washes of colour.”


Antique jewellery sat alongside “modern heirlooms”

The brand has long partnered with artisans in Kenya to create its jewellery from recycled glass and brass, but this time around, the collection was also accessorised with antique jewellery sourced from New York-based dealer Kentshire. “Personally I’m very drawn to antique jewellery because I love things that have had myriad lives,” Johnson says.

It’s reflective of the lives she hopes her own designs will have in the future, following the launch of its peer-to-peer resale programme earlier this year. “I speak a lot about this idea of future heirlooms and creating things that have a life way past the moment,” the designer continues.


The show venue was a celebration of artists and artisans

Fittingly, Johnson chose Powerhouse Arts, a non-profit arts hub that’s about to open in Brooklyn, to hold this season’s show. “It was perfect for us in so many ways because really what we do every season is try and bring together the hand of so many artists and artisans,” the designer explains. Shimmering screens made from raffia and sea shells hung from the ceiling (which will be repurposed in the brand’s stores following the show), highlighting the craftsmanship that’s long been central to the Ulla Johnson ethos.

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