"We wanted to look at military but not in the obvious heritage sense. We looked at Vikings and imagined warriors, our minds filled with thoughts of sabotage and a more romantic feeling," muses Amber Siegel as she stands in her Centre of Fashion Enterprise studio located in the heart of East London and excitedly introduces Baartmans & Siegel AW13. Self described as modern-traditionalists, Siegel and her partner Wouter Baartmans' work focuses on beautiful fabrics that seduce, and shapes that are accessible yet distinctive. In a few short seasons the talented twosome have developed a signature of innovative, refined menswear that balances wearability with a heightened luxury and ever irresistible tactility. Theirs are designs to fall for and it looks like we'll be falling that bit deeper in January.
Now, for the latest Autumn/Winter collection the duo switch on their design blender to create an appetite quenching blend of masculine references in vibrant palette of red. Amber Siegel talks us through the studio's mood board...
"We were drawn to the image of Brad Pitt jogging alone in the opening of scene of 'Birth'. There's such a beautiful piece of music playing over it and we loved the idea of this solitary guy in the elements interjected with wolves, it just captured the mood of the collection. We then searched for more lone figures but with the wish of building a community. Very colour based but we also looked at visual detailing, especially pockets and this led us to military uniforms. We wanted to explore a different side of military. It was more about how a soldier feels. Ideas of protection with vulnerability, belonging and distance from home. We are are more thematic than conceptual but we were drawn to this duality. Many of our other seasons are about internal masculinity, internal confidence given through clothes, feeling secure through the outerwear and we wanted to project that further so looked at the role of colour. We were drawn to reds in particular. We loved the look of blood oranges, on the outside they can be matte but the inside has this warmth and we translated this in some of our jackets with the use of neoprene linings, cross mink linings, suede alongside a more performance fabric. it is all about this duality. Something quiet teamed with real warmth. A hard outside with a soft centre.
We both really love Jeff Bridges. I want him to be our muse and he certainly inspired us this season. If anyone comes in to contact with him, please call me. I like this idea of him being this oddball, he could look groomed and cool but he's a stoner We made a Jeff Bridges rob, The Big Lebowski style. We played with this feeling of English loungewear crossed with LA cool and Viking warrior. A melting pot of slightly strange masculine references that come together to create something truly Baartmans & Siegel. Actually, given the berry tones throughout the collection, a blender is more apt..."
A quick look at Baartmans and Siegel's mood board for AW13
Having been talked through Baartmans and Siegel's mood board and the opportunity to see and touch the first few samples, it is clear that many more will fall for the charms of this label. Once more this refined design pair will showcase a wearable wardrobe of our dreams in January at London Collections: Men.