FOR Raimund Berthold, his SS18 collection must surely have been a challenge. Set against two integral themes of masculinity and conflict, Berthold chose a complicated and rocky road from which to build a fashion show upon.
Finding inspiration in the most anarchic of places, his research focused on child soldiers in Sierra Leone, Uganda, Liberia and Nigeria, with the brutal absurdity of 14 year olds chewing cigarettes, slinging AK-47s over their shoulders and dressing in too-big uniforms.
These awkward contrasts have led way to a considered and understated collection; oversized garments are displayed in more subtle ways, with raw hemmed sleeves left unfurled and too-big funnel necks hanging off of shoulders.
Exploring the crucial transition from boy to man, from innocence to loss of innocence, the clothes are dark and brooding, starkly utilitarian and at the same time inconvenient – tiny shorts on tall frames, loose undone trousers on skinny legs and a bright burst of geometric colour over-scoring many of the garments.
Berthold SS18, photo via Catwalking
Sleeves are out of the question almost half of the time – instead, harnessed vests over cropped sleeve longline coats take centre stage for summer, with lightweight wools, rich cottons and crisp technical fabrics.
It’s all highly Matrix-reminiscent – with the dramatic flares of billowing black coats, it feels as if Neo could appear at any moment. It’s a strong and aggressive collection from Berthold, who prove themselves once again a force to be reckoned with on the London menswear scene.
by Thomas Marrington
All photographs via Catwalking