The moment we excitedly showcased the degree collections of the Dutch/English design halves that make up Baartmans and Siegel we knew we had discovered a couple of gems. The design duo first met whilst at Viktor & Rolf, and were united in their belief of beautiful craftsmanship and imaginative design. The resulting label instantly became one to watch, recognisable by the pairs use of interactive texture and sharp tailoring. In a few short seasons, they've become synonymous with interesting details and menacing masculinity winning fans and plaudits alike. Now, as they prepare their Paris showroom, we can provide the first look at their impressive SS12 collection, Dust Drifters.
Now, the design duo tend to start at more of a thematic start point, with a character created and established in popular culture, for example the Jules Verne SS11 collection and most recently the Blade Runner inspired Deckard collection for AW11. However, this season they've looked at a more tangible, imaginary character, that of a modern nomadic man. A reflective nature and nod to romanced exploration and travel. A character conjured from the dust, and one that belongs to multiple landscapes. Before we take a look at the collection itself, Amber Siegel introduces and shares their visual references..
"For the SS12 collection we wished to look at the idea of a person connecting with a remote, powerful landscape, which they are reborn from. A mutual connection between man and landscape. The collection reflects this simplistic harmony. Accessible yet alters one's sense of self. We were looking at a sort of nomadic soul and atmosphere, and the deserts of Egypt and North America."
Amber Siegel on the inspiration for SS12
A look at their SS12 mood boards.
For SS12, Baartmans and Siegel look at the creation of a character derived from an arid landscape. A character that has risen and been re-absorbed by a transitory and harsh atmosphere. They continue to look at a classic, internally generated masculinity, one which travels to an outward, defined aesthetic of individual aspects, particles, fibres, grouping together to form a unity. Dust Drifters concentrates on the unity of physical representation of man and the unseen, silent insertion into an isolated natural landscape. This sedimentary building of character is literally translated and represented through the use of defined stripes. Washed out, frayed, fine cotton shirts draw inspiration from the sun-fired Arabian terrains. While crème silk crepe shirts provide a nomadic flexibility of comfort, style and functionality.
Throughout, the design duo showcase their characteristically refined, classic cuts, and have developed charmingly nostalgic slim fit pure wool and soft Irish linen suits, which are well suited for the modern traveller. Fine silk-ribbed shirts with flashes of gold hardware explore indulgence and luxury, while one can find comfort and confidence in hand-knitted Breton striped and cable-knit glace cotton sweaters...
SS12 lookbook images courtesy of Baartmans and Siegel
Self described as modern-traditionalists, Wouter Baartmans and Amber Siegel’s work focuses on beautiful fabrics that seduce, and shapes that are accessible yet distinctive. Key items that instantly catch the eye include beautiful, lightweight organza linen shirt-jackets with a Nile-like sheen: perfect breeze-catchers. Water-resistant taupe trenches with butter nappa leather collars and polished horn buttons that provide pure masculine allure. Whilst Irish linen summer parkas ensure shelter and protection, with leather visor details.
The latest fruits from the collaboration with Grenson.
Furthermore, Dust Drifters marks the continuation of their fruitful collaboration with renowned English shoemakers Grenson by presenting a new shape in two very contrasting styles presenting. The ‘Classic Gentlemen’s Brogue’ in chestnut suede and leather and the ‘Classic Raider Brogue’ in sandstone suede. Streamlined, simplistic, comfortable and classic. As they grow as a brand, Baartmans and Siegel will continue to develop their range of shoes with Grenson. For winter they are already looking to produce a beautiful loafer, boot and town shoe, which shall include fabric as well as leather. I look forward to watching the continued rise of this design duo but first, I will toast their stunning SS12 collection in Paris.