“GmbH” located in the gap of men’s fashion
With the advent of Jonathan William Anderson, the world was rapidly moving towards genderlessness. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for men to wear designs that include feminine nuances. On the contrary, it seems that the need for clothes that create coolness among women has increased.
Until now, “cool” and “kawaii” were adjectives that were expressed separately for men and women. In modern times these adjectives should not be used according to gender but used for individual human beings. You can have cool women’s clothes or cute men’s clothes. Making it universal expands the enjoyment and possibilities of fashion.
On the other hand, it is also true that women have the unique characteristics and men have too. For example, the difference in body shape is the most important.
Due to the trend of genderlessness, women’s nuances have appeared in menswear, but there is also menswear that focuses on men’s physical strength. One of the brands I would like to focus on this time is “GmbH,” based in Berlin.
Let me briefly introduce “GmbH” here.
The brand started in 2016, led by fashion photographer Benjamin Alexander Husby and menswear designer Serhat Isik, with about 10 friends they met on the dance floor of a club in Berlin.
The brand name “GmbH” means “company” in German. It became a word that has the same meaning as “INC.” And “LTD.” In English, and Husby and Isik wanted as many people as possible to participate in the brand, so the brand name was chosen as a word that means a group.
When I looked at “GmbH,” it brings a unique feeling which did not change when I looked at the latest FW21 collection. Here, I would like to explore the point I feel unique.
Contrary to the recent genderless trend, the male models appointed by “GmbH” are often muscular types with thick necks, thick chest plates, and broad shoulders. To emphasize their body shape, the silhouettes that appear in the collection also have broad shoulders and have many consequential types, which, unlike the oversized silhouettes, is a silhouette that I would like to describe as a muscle silhouette.
The body shape of the model and the silhouette of the items, especially in FW21 collection, the color scheme is mainly black, so the impression of muscle is even more powerful. Take a look at the next look. It’s a typical look of FW21 collection.
A wide belt reminiscent of a cummerbund is wrapped around the upper body. I have felt that this belt item and the restraint-inspired styling further emphasize the muscle silhouette of “GmbH.”
However, from here, Husby and Isik try a new interpretation of “GmbH” from a different angle.
The bare top details found in women’s tops and dresses are used in menswear. The male models expose the left and right shoulders and chest, and the muscle silhouette of “GmbH” is expressed with sex appeal. Still, the way of incorporating sex appeal is approached from a feminine angle of using the details of women’s wear.
In the past, Anderson created an impact as appointed a muscular male model to wear womenswear items and details such as skirts and frills straight without arranging them for men.
It can be said that the method used by “GmbH” in FW21 collection is the same as Anderson. Although Anderson is now moving away from the straightforward approach of wearing womenswear to muscular male models, and the “GmbH” approach is unique at this point.
Also, the difference from the former Anderson is the design born from the background of the brand. For example, the genderless design presented at JW Anderson FW13 collection is based on beautiful classic fashion with colors such as gray and camel, chalk stripes and plain materials, with less intricate details and cutting.
Although “GmbH” is a classic with many tailored jackets and coats, it has a strong underground scent because it was born against the background of Berlin’s club culture, reminiscent of fastener-heavy details, workwear and biker’s wear. The materials and items create an industrial atmosphere, creating a dark and casual style.
In this way, “GmbH” inherits the context created by Anderson while expressing the muscle silhouette focusing on the muscular charm of men through Berlin’s club culture, which is rare in modern times. They showed a method of approaching feminine sex appeal using bare tops in the latest FW21 collection. Overlapping and misalignment of various contexts make me feel the standing position of “GmbH” unique. I think that the “GmbH” style designed by Husby and Isik is positioned in a special place in the current men’s fashion.
For me, “GmbH” has become an exciting brand from a different perspective than my own consumer taste.
“OAMC” is a fashionable version of sober work clothes
In FW21 season, the brand that greatly stimulated my consumer taste was Luke Meier’s signature brand, “OAMC.”
Luke Meier has become one of the world’s leading designers as the reputation of “Jil Sander” has increased, working as a creative director with his wife, Lucie Meier. You probably know that he had a career as a head designer for Supreme.
Luke Meier has a strong presence as one of the best designers in the world. Many designers are currently derived from the street such as Virgil Abloh, Matthew Williams, Heron Preston, etc.
Especially the SS18 collection is impressive. The silhouette with moderate volume in black and white as the primary color is really sharp and cool. The style with a white emblem on the left chest of the tailored coat that appeared in the 1st look is a fashion that approaches the fusion of the image reminiscent of the schoolboy style and the style that the boy grew up and became a young man.
However, Luke gradually changes the style that suppresses the street. The signs begin to appear in the FW19 collection. Despite the traditional street colors, the astringent color development based on gray and the appearance of the models wearing jackets reminiscent of workwear reminded me of a great photographer’s photo book.
It is August Sander’s “People of the Twentieth Century.”
In this photo book, Sander described the German people at that time as “farmers,” “craftsmen,” “women,” “occupation and social status,” “artists,” “big cities,” and “last people” in the early 20th century. It is divided into groups, and portraits of people in each group are taken. It’s no wonder that this photobook with black-and-white portraits has a sober impression.
The elegance of people staring straight at the camera and the dignified appearance oozes me. I am attracted to people’s facial expressions on the other side of the photobook page. The portraits of the people who were the subjects wearing their work clothes are filled with the depth of their memories and emotions on the surface of their clothes.
The FW19 collection gives the impression that Sander, who has revived in the present age, has created a new group of “youth” and “labor” and shot the modern version of “People of the Twentieth Century.” No, I mean “People of the Twentyfirst Century.” That experience taught me the coolness of workwear, also felt in the FW21 collection, which was unveiled during Paris Men’s Fashion Week last month.
The first image I feel from “OAMC” now is the muddy smell of work clothes. The scent of workwear is powerful. The scent of workwear became stronger with each season, and now the mode component is weaker than at the time of the SS18 collection, and the item itself has a sober impression.
However, I find the current “OAMC,” which should look sober, overwhelmingly more attractive than before.
I think that’s because workwear has been moderated. Luke’s sense and skill are injected into the sober and muddy workwear that would otherwise be far from the stage of the mode of competing for new fashion in the new era, and classic items such as tailored jackets and coats are mixed there, making it definitive. It’s a muddy but excellent collection with a street mindset.
When I use the expression “moderation of workwear,” my personal memory overlaps here again. I haven’t felt any special coolness in workwear. It reminds me of the factory around Kawasaki Station that I spent in elementary school because my deceased father was an interior craftsman. Recognized that the same clothes were for work, which was different from fashion that brought about an aesthetic uplifting feeling.
However, “OAMC” destroys the image I had in my workwear. “Oh, can you make my workwear look so cool?” The feeling is pleasing and throbbing, and the design with a graphical approach like that seen on CD and record jackets makes me want to call it a new era of Sander style.
For me, “OAMC” was menswear that fulfilled the fashion I craved for the moderation of workwear. Menswear that realized new contextual value is “OAMC” for me.
I think every time I look at the look photos repeatedly. After all, I am strongly attracted to the “OAMC” designed by Luke. Designers who live in fashion may suddenly change their style, as mentioned in the Milan edition. Especially in the last few seasons, this tendency is scattered. Even so, I hope that “OAMC” will continue its current style for some time and reach even greater depth.
In an era of significant change
This is the end of the Milan & Paris FW21 Men’s Collection, written in three editions. The unimaginable threat of the COVID-19 is now forcing the fashion world to make significant changes creatively and in business. However, it is fashion that has created a new era of creativity during these times of turmoil.
Now is the time for a new style to be born. I’m sure, no, a new style will indeed be taken. Who and where do they come from? Maybe it’s born from a place or person that you can’t imagine now. I expect that high noise and observe the future fashion scene.