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BAARTMANS & SIEGEL X River Island | Mens Fashion Magazine

Fashion is not straightforward. Fashion absorbs, it borrows, it takes ideas and twists them, it produces and amalgamates. Fashion takes risks, takes no prisoners and conjures. To exist in fashion is to be bold and that is what we, at MFM, love. Evidently, so do Baartmans & Siegel who have collaborated with River Island and drawn from elements of Philip K. Dick’s dystopian worlds and Michael Mann’s directing career for their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.

Baartmans & Siegel, the Dutch/English, London based design duo, were both graduates of Menswear Fashion Design and Technology BA and MA courses at London College of Fashion, when they met. They bonded over their belief of beautiful craftsmanship and had a join imaginative flare for design. Their work together has, thus far, homed in on fabrics that tell a store and shapes that are nothing short of distinctive.

They have set themselves out to be different and already made a name for themselves as rising stars with the use of interactive textures and having a keen eye for tailoring. So when they joined with River Island for the Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection, they had ideas, which came through other pieces of art.

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The idea behind the collection is to show a strong masculine protagonist. Enter Philip K. Dick and Michael Mann, whose worlds are full of rich undertones and strong male leads. With their reputation proceeding them, Baartmans & Siegel have focused on outerwear and tailoring, with a double breasted blazer in wool, goose down puffa with a reverse feature, accessories and footwear adding to the range.

Within every collaboration there have to be settlements, Baartmans & Siegel have stayed true to the core of the project which is – strong masculinity – but not without keeping their own voice. They said, “When working on the concept for the collection we felt it was important for us to carry through our identity of indulgent masculinity with our signature fabrics and refined classic silhouettes.”

They went on to say, “River Island’s responsiveness and huge industry network has allowed us to maintain our high level of craftsmanship which has been most refreshing. We have also been able to explore new technical aspects that we have wished to create for some time, which has been key in helping to create an accessible wardrobe with effortless style.”

Effortless style, a genuine signature, an appreciation for other forms of art and a love of fabric and tailoring – what more would we ask for? The twelve piece collection will be available to buy in selected stores and online from September 2014. Excited? We most certainly are!