Monday, 11 April 2011

Designer Watch: Baartmans and Siegel...

I have been one lucky lady...not only did I get the chance to work with design duo Baartmans and Siegel on their shoot for but I have also been lucky enough to meet them at their east London studio to find out a little more about the pair.

Fashion East Campaign

Before I get to the interview here is a little background info...

Baartmans and Siegel is made up of uni friends; Wouter Baartmans and Amber Siegel, who originally met at London College of Fashion. They teamed up to show at LCF's graduate show and their SS11 collection has been picked up by Harrods as part of their New Designers initiative to showcase and sell new designers online and instore.

Coco: When/how did you meet?

Wouter & Amber: We met at the London College of Fashion and also worked together at Viktor and Rolf. We worked solo but always worked together on brainstorming and eventually collaborated on a collection which was shown at LCF's graduate show and has now been picked up by Harrods.

AW11 collection

C: What inspires you most?

W&A: Conceptual design, pop-culture, art, fabrics, silhouettes and atmosphere.

C: What's the inspiration behind the AW11 collection?

W&A: Observing the 80s (the generation they grew up in) and specifically the film Bladerunner. The typography, construction and environment of the film. The costume department looked to the 40s 'dapper-man' for inspiration whilst mixing dynamic performance into the looks.

W: The looks were futuristic for the time but still had 80s elements and had a great mix of protection, masculinity and bravado combined with the softer elements of a modern environment.

A: Wouter is an 80s obsessive so it was always something we would base a collection on, now we've ticked it off the list!

Pieces from the AW11 collection

C: Where can we buy the collection?

W&A: At present at Harrods (instore and online), the SS11 collection is out now and the AW11 collection is also at Harrods from late June. Other stockists are currently being confirmed so keep your eyes peeled!

C: What's your favourite thing about London?

W: It's so accessible, so many research opportunities with a great mix of old and new within our industry.
A: I love the little pockets and villages within London, the different communities within a huge collective.

C: Tell me something unique about the brand...

W&A: All products are produced in the UK. Our knitted jumpers are hand knitted by a lovely elderly lady in South London, it takes her two weeks to knit each jumper. Our suits are always in un-traditional fabrics and we use the same cuts and silhoutettes each season but strive to refine each suit from the last.

C: What's on your iPod at the moment?

W: Fleetwood Mac and Elwood King
A: The Labyrinth soundtrack

C: What's your guilty pleasure?

W: Miami Vice
A: Trash Americana, I run off to the states whenever possible.

C: What's next for the brand?

W&A: Next season will see us explore adornment techniques, jewellery and accessories which could be our way to enter the womenswear market. We are collaborating with Grenson to produce our footwear (brogues for SS and loafers for AW) and our site will be moving into the e-commerce world shortly.

Baartmans and Siegel also showed this LFW at Fashion East on menswear day.

I simply love this pair. Down-to-earth, super-talented and down right lovely. It was an honour to get to see their AW11 collection in person within the four walls where it was designed.

Check out their site here.

Buy on Harrods here.

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Coco xx