Baartmans and Siegel for River Island
Baartmans and Siegel are the latest young British designer to announce a collaboration with high street chain River Island. I tend to be a bit lukewarm about high street/designer collaborations in general, mainly because the few purchases I’ve made from such designer hook-ups are now gathering dust. However, River Island has been working with some of the most interesting young British designers recently, having produced collections with Joseph Turvey and T.Lipop to date. This approach feels like a more relevant exercise than trying to translate very established luxury brands into mass-produced budget fashion à la H&M, being more akin to Topman’s long term support of YBDs. Baartmans are regulars on Sharpened Lead and their relaxed but luxurious aesthetic has had me hooked since I came across them at an early L:CM. Expertly co-ordinated to build anticipation, photos of the collection are embargoed until June, when the collection will be showcased for the first time in a specially-produced film, timed to tie in with LC:M. However, some painterly fashion ilustrations of the collection have been released as a taster and as a loyal follower of the Baartmans & Siegel brand, I share them here. We’re told to anticipate key pieces such as a double-breasted blazer, a signature puffa and footwear in the form of “petrol-effect snow boots”. Such hints, and promises of technical experimentation and retention of the pair’s well known attention to detail and craftsmanship, suggest that their strong design personality will shine through.