Capsule is proud to be participating in the first ever New York Fashion Week: Men’s with a group presentation that comprises a global snapshot of modern menswear featuring some of our favorite Capsule brands. We’re particularly stoked to see looks from UK-based directional premium label Baartmans and Siegel. On the occasion of the presentation, we spoke with Amber Siegel, Creative Director and one half of the team behind the brand about inspiration for S/S 2016 and more.
Capsule: Tell us what we can expect to see from Baartmans and Siegel for S/S 2016:
Amber: This season we were inspired by a visual projection of the desolation of man’s mental wilderness - thoughts of wandering the prairies in exploration of contagious grounding and optimism. More specifically we drew creativity from the challenging navigation of the gritty open plains of North America. The collection continues to play with aspects touched-on in our A/W 15 collection, with the importance of functionality and indulgence, comfort and style. We like to incorporate signature Baartmans and Siegel considerations – references of emotional grit and quests are projected and translated to a visual language of ignited optimism.
The ethos of ‘Daily Indulgence’ is paramount to our subscription to opulence re-invented. Every season, garment and collection is devised, refined and created with a focus on sublime details and whispered-on finishes. Finding the internal gritty and effortless style of the individual and propelling this forward is an element which is praised by wearers of our clothes, and which we are pleased to facilitate through our label.
Capsule: Where are you based?
Amber: We live and work in London with our miniature Dachshund- Noodle. Although Wouter is from Amsterdam and I am half American. The best thing about having a creative job is that we travel lots, and we’re able to visit Holland and New York often.
Capsule: What’s a key item for SS16?
Amber: One of our favorite pieces from the collection is the 'Swamp' action jacket created in a paper-light breathable performance fabric. The jacket explores utility and functionality with a variety of action pockets, and the whole lightweight jacket can fold in to a self-contained bag – really the perfect travel jacket. It is crafted with a wonderful family-run textile mill in Italy that we work closely with. All the fabrics that we work with need to be both comfortable, but also luxurious and beautifully finished. The Italian mills really have a great legacy and heritage of being able to produce inspiring fabrications. There is something about the passion and deep-rooted intention of working with Italians that is super seductive and addictive, and we like to translate that in a new-form through our work.
Caspule: do you have any special events or collabos in the works for SS16?
Amber: This S/S 16 collection marks our third season collaboration with the Amsterdam-based optical brand Fan-Optics. We have worked together to offer distinguished, hand crafted and very stylized sunglasses in a range of coloured and textured acetates, made in England. The shapes of the frames hint at a sense of masculine nostalgia, while still being slick and easy-to wear.
Capsule: What inspires your designs?
Amber: For us, a more thematic approach to design is appealing. Looking at types of masculine characters, exploring projected, gritty, cinematic male figures such as Vincent Cassel, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Bridges and Bill Murray. More recently, we love the Japanese take on the quintessentially British look – taking the striking tailoring and combining it with modern menswear playful pieces and Scandinavian minimalism. London Fashion week heralds many distinctive stylish men, often those who attend our showcases are proudly sporting slick styles and dapper threads -always inspiring to observe. For us, successful style will always cater to and combine aesthetic pleasure and functional performance. Fundamentally we strive to create style that is effortlessly indulgent and garments that evoke a sport-luxe aesthetic.
Capsule: How did you get into fashion? What’s your backstory?
Amber: It feels as if naturally both of us have always been attracted to creativity and art in the broadest sense, being fortunate enough to grow up in stimulating, European metropolitan cities and with liberal, artistic parents. Style and trends were never too far out of reach for us to observe, but it was not until our teenage years that we found ourselves being drawn to a sense of aesthetic refinement and true appreciation of tasteful stylistic elegance. We became hungry for decadence & craftsmanship, after the minimalism and streetwear styles of the 1990s. Cinema & popular culture heavily fed our yearning for grasping the concept of style - with films such as American Psycho and Blade Runner sparking our imaginations. Graduating, interning & working in some of the largest and most prestigious luxury fashion houses in the world, we were involved in creating dynamic designs and since then, we have continued to incorporate the spirit of playful panache and masculinity in each garment that we create for Baartmans and Siegel.