Masculinity and conflict was presented to London Fashion Week Men’s by Raimund Berthold. Going against restraints of society was the origin of the designs. Research began by images of child soldiers in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Liberia and Nigeria. The brutal reality of the images where young teenagers are posing with cigarettes and guns, shows how they are stripped of their childhood and thrust upon manhood. The young boys, eaten by the oversized clothing posed with a flawed confidence and a false sense of manly power and pride. Boy to man is a pivotal transition, Berthold took influence from the Dinka tribe in South Sudan, the Bashada in Ethiopia and Ndebele and Khoisan in Southern Africa – their sense of majesty and theatre has been an inspiration for bold clothes with elegance.
Flickering lights captured the attention at the start of the show, before lighting up the catwalk. The music started with a military theme before blending into tribal sounds and beats, which reflects the elements of masculinity and conflict. Berthold’s collection featured many awkward contrasts, the oversized sleeves left hanging instead of rolled, the exaggerated funnel necks paired with cropped tunics and the wrap trousers left loose. The vibrant colours are seen to be optimistic and youthful, suggested within the asymmetrical graphic print featuring golden yellow, cyan and red. Berthold inventively explores the transition of boy to man from radicalisation to tribal belonging which is effortlessly portrayed in this SS18 collection.
Words: Maisie Clancy
Photographer: Paolo Steve