Monsieur Robot loves Baartmans and Siegel

Amongst the madness and frivolity of LFW there were a lot of clothes that were designed only to look good on a runway and purely to stand out from the crowd. But these clothes don’t always make it into the shops or onto the streets. There was one brand, however, that stood out from the rest for all the right reasons, it was Baartmans and Siegel. I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Wouter Baartmans and Amber Siegel at their studio before Fashion Week so I had already seen the stunning collection they were set to show. In the few weeks between our meeting and menswear day I couldn’t stop thinking about the clothes. There’s a luxury and a sophistication that’s so rarely seen in most modern menswear, and with Baartmans and Siegel there’s an attention to detail and a eye for fabric that defines understated chic. The clothes are smart – but not boring, formal – but not stuffy; and the printed silk scarf? Well let’s just say I’ve actually had dreams about it. The whole collection is thoroughly modern and ultra-sleek.

As I’m studying for a Masters in Film there’s nothing more exciting for me when my two favourite things – cinema and fashion, collide. The collection was inspired by Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, a personal favourite of mine. The aesthetic of Philip K Dick’s dystopian future remains a cinematic landmark. The films costume designers Michael Caplan and Charles Knode fused classic styles with futuristic elements to create a unique style, one that Baartmans and Siegel have turned into high art.

Amber and Wouter were kind enough to answer a few questions for me, so let’s see what went into to making this collection and what the Baartmans and Siegel brand is all about. 

Do films/music/art often influence your designs? 
We tend to be mainly thematic designers, rather than starting from an initial conceptual position. We draw from areas of popular culture that are stimulating, inside and outside of our culture. While we look at themes as a whole, we also dissect an aspect, character, and element, digest this and then marry this with areas of texture, silhouette and aesthetic that we wish to explore and convey. This season we have very specifically looked at the character of Deckard from Blade Runner and his intrinsic qualities.
What sort of man do you design for?
Our collections are always for a broad audience of men, primarily those who appreciate a refinement of construction and materials. Often we find that the men who buy are clothes, are dynamic individuals, enjoy international landscapes and embrace modern menswear, while still understanding the importance of tradition.
How would you describe the collection in a few words?
The collection really looks at the combination of performance and luxury, the balance between protection, comfort and dominance. It is accessible, yet punctuated with lust and lure.
What piece from the collection is your personal favorite?
The deep forest green parker with emerald artic fox is irresistible, once on, it creates an almost tortoise shell- shield of protection!
What other designers do you admire?
We admire the beautiful and tactile collections of Dries Van Noten, as well as the dynamic and inspiring work of Nicola Formichetti.
Is there one item of clothing you wish you’d invented?
The Trench coat.  Bold, clean, masculine, beautiful, and always relevant!

Words by Warren Beckett – @warrenbeckett