In a similar vein to the London Showrooms, Esquire and Colin McDowell presented a catwalk film of seven British menswear designers who should be seen by the buyers in Paris. The so called magnificent seven consisted Richard James, Domingo Rodriguez, E. Tautz, Oliver Spencer, Gieves & Hawkes, Baartmans & Siegel and Hart Savile Row. Last week Esquire posted a sneak peek in to what we'll be seeing next summer and even though the line up included a number of established design talent, my interest peaked with Baartmans & Siegel.
Since we covered the degree collections of both design halves that make up Baartmans & Siegel, the label has become one to watch, recognisable by the pairs use of interactive texture and sharp tailoring. It has quickly established itself to become synonymous with interesting details and a menacing masculinity. Just as their AW10/11 capsule collection launched exclusively at Harrods, I caught up with the pair to take a closer look at their SS11 offering. Before I take you on an in depth tour of the collection though I think it best to share their latest look book with you (warning, it includes an all too familiar face)...
Aquatic inspiration without a breton in sight.
The simple yet playful silhouettes are stunning throughout
I tired on the double breasted blazer on the right and my body misses it now. I'll have to save up. Also, if you're lusting over the butter soft brogues they have been supplied by Grensons.
The back detailing on the trench is particularly flattering.
The Jules Verne collection is based on the aquatic science fiction adventure novels penned by the French author in the late nineteenth century. The design duo reference Verne's classic, 'Vingt mille lieuses sous les mers' through their choice of colour palette, which incorporates various shades of ocean friendly blues, greens and creams. I must say, it is refershing to see an aquatic inspired collection without those all too familiar breton stripes.
A closer look at one of the luxurious printed silk scarves. The ocean inspired print is breathtaking.
As Verne's novel is not only one of the great adventure classics by the 'Father of Science Fiction', but also a truly fantastic voyage from the lost city of Atlantis to the South Pole, this collection is not only a showcase of modern traditionalism but an exploration of masculinity. Here the pair are interested in the creation of a murky, menacing form of masculinity echoed in the novels own sense of adventure, strength and excitement.
Floaty light. A cloud print shirt
The print of this shirt creates such texture.
Wouter Baartmans and Amber Siegel’s work focuses on beautiful fabrics that seduce, and shapes that are accessible yet distinctive. This collection has a remarkably clean and sharp silhouette and softly breathes a air of heightened luxury. Once again, once fabric is key. Here the collection predominantly uses a variety of silks, wools, linens and mohairs. They have worked with Italian, Japanese and Swiss textile mills to ensure that they have sources the most innovative materials of the highest quality. Baartmans and Siegel's design ethos revolves around creating products that heighten the best characteristics of the wearer. The collection has been designed so that many of the pieces are interchangeable and to give the wearer more stylistic control. It is important for both Amber and Wouter that each garment is strong individually, while flexible enough to be combined and to interact well with others.
Amber and Wouter constantly search for the very best fabrics from the best mills.
Likewise with this jacket. Simply stunning use of fabric and cut.
Texture, texture everywhere. These trousers can be paired with the matching coat to heart racing effect.
The pair have such an eye for detail. A closer look at the finishing detail of the jacket.
An ocean lapping at the shore. I decided to shoot the hand knit jumpers together to demonstrate the soft colour palette.
This collection makes me strangely proud. I have no idea why other than the fact I'm utterly blown away by the maturity, finish and sense of luxury that oozes from every stitch and finishing detail. I for one am eager to see how this design partnership continues to evolve over the coming seasons.