Thursday, 7 April 2011

Sruli Recht AW11 When Gravity Fails

Sruli Recht - Feature Button

The Sruli Recht studio is a cross-discipline practice caught somewhere between product design, tailoring and shoe making. Based in Reykjavík, the studio instantly rose to notoriety as it began in 2008 to produce one “non-product” every month’ from umbrellas to bulletproof scarves, tables, to belts and boots, and incorporating such materials as concrete, diamonds, skin and wool. Now, I have to confess that somehow the label eluded me but not so the blogging oracle that is Susie. Back in July 2007 she wrote a piece about her love of his footwear designs and has kept an eye on the studio's output ever since. So, when we saw his name on the Reykjavik Fashion Festival and discovered that he would be presenting his debut menswear collection her enthusiasm was infectious and my expectations were high. On the opening night of the festival, Recht managed to blow me away. As a live drummer provided a percussion pulse, Recht's men paraded a collection of carefully crafted draped pieces that echoed the rawness of the Icelandic landscape. 

In the space of a few minutes my blogging highlight of my Icelandic trip was revealed. Despite enthusiastically snapping away from my prime vantage point, due to the height of the catwalk I am not entirely happy with my show photography but fortunately I can share Marinó Thorlacius' stunning look book imagery with you. The collection consists of a total look - from coats, jackets and cardigans, to trousers, shorts and leggings, all complimented by shoes, boots, bags, gloves and silver jewellery. There are fifty five styles, with approximately one hundred and thirty material variations...

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Photographer - Marinó Thorlacius 
Model - Emil Þór Guðmundsson
Stylist - Arash Arfazadeh

Recht and his team have spent the last year taming these wild and fantastic natural Icelandic materials for a total look collection that will seduce the international market. The design talent worked very closely with Atlantic Leather, a tannery in the north of Iceland run by the native Icelanders, working with an array of raw skins to make new materials, designing new leathers and experimenting with treatments and finishes. The entire collection showcases leathers from horse, hunted wild reindeer, birds, fish and lamb. However, the two showpieces are particularly special...

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Show Piece One - “Icarus, post-crash”
Twenty one Svartfugl [blackbirds] on a hunted wild reindeer base. The garment literally designed itself after the hunters placed catch on the table, all that was left was for them to be sewn together. Body to body to back to wing they were attached the wild reindeer base.

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Show Piece Two - “Born out of this”
Twenty seven still born lambs, three regular lambs, military deadstock lining. Pieced together, these almost once vessels, together now one, and draped as a single square, and a sleeve, and a pleated set/raglan hybrid, with darted shaping.

Similarly, the collection uses Icelandic wool and Recht has worked with a local knit producer to create their own knit constructions. In fact, about ninety eight per cent of the collection is made from Icelandic materials, and material that Recht has in some way developed in the studio. The other two per cent is the jersey that has to be imported because it just isn’t made in Iceland.

As with everything Recht has created before, the collection is completely intuitive and free whilst still being very dimensional and formed. His debut menswear offering is entirely draped, mostly from single pieces. There was absolutely no design sketching, instead the designer worked the fabric on half sized mannequins and 3D sketched fabrics direct on to form. The result is a collection that strikes the covetable balance between construction and freedom. During my time in Reykjavík I was fortunate enough to meet the designer at his studio and retail space and I will happily relay what I learnt over the coming days but until then, I hope you enjoy the look book.


Syed said...

Absolutely loved the latest collection. The blood red crewneck and the cardigan version were gorgeous. And those leaf green gloves look stunning. Also really like the rings...hopefully they will be stocked somewhere in London so I can see them in person!

Style Salvage Steve said...

Syed: I knew you would be a fan! I even mentioned that to Susie as we explored the studio.

chuck n. said...

his work is honestly rather impressive!

though i'm not quite fond of the first show piece, i find it incredible that he truly sticks to his desire to use real, Icelandic materials. that rare quality is one that makes his clothes and designs unique in every way!

the second show piece is amazing

Giancinephile said...

The play of textures is just sooooo amazing! I can't help but be struck by it.

The Fashion Buzz said...

OMG really love this look- now this is what fashion is about!


awesome! love all the coats


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