Austrian born designer Raimund Berthold’s first catwalk collection took place on the first day of London Fashion Week Men’s and opened with a series of rigid, oversized army style looks. Finding inspiration in the most anarchic of places, his collection was created after by exploring child soldiers from Sierra Leone, Uganda, Liberia and Nigeria.
The designer stated that he couldn’t stop himself from looking at images of child soldiers. dressed in Army fatigues, ready to fight in wars that they couldn’t possibly understand. He began thinking about how their clothes, and their oversize fit, gave them this flawed confidence. A ruthlessness that signifies both power and weakness.
This research led to a collection with a clear military feel, but brilliantly done without the usual and overused camouflage print. Garments were oversized with big funnels extended towards the neck used as protection from the rain, sun, or wind. Sleeves were either long , or completely cropped, layered with vests and longline coats. Raincoats were definitely a highlight, appearing in form of short hooded jackets or trenches, teamed with shorts and sandals to add a contrast feel of playfulness to the collection.
The collection was mainly black with an inventive use of colour – bursts of mellow yellow, sunset red and bright blue are used to symbolize the hope and optimism of childhood, with a nod towards the traditional African costume. Its certainly a dramatic and strong collection which definitely puts Berthold as a leading brand in the London menswear scene.