Per Götesson is a designer who attaches memory to his work. For his first catwalk show outside of Fashion East, the recent NEWGEN recipient looked back as he made a decisive step forward.
Provoking his own memory and combing through his childhood in Sweden, the fabrics used for S/S 19 were commonplace; most specifically the dark denim. Of the three denim jackets in the collection, two were adorned with cloths embroidered and woven by the designer's mother and grandmother. This familial connection, the intimacy of using a maternal touch in a menswear collection was felt keenly in each piece. Trousers were oversized, a feature that has become synonymous with Götesson's brand, and held up high with a belt that left its string hanging. Often, waistbands flopped over these belts, in a way that reminded me of my younger brothers, in trousers three sizes too big for them, my mother knowing they'd grow into them, thus saving her the inconvenience of buying three more pairs.
Tony Hornecker's set further reflected the homely, comforting touch Götesson looked to. Models moved through a dimly-lit, curtained area complete with bed and lamp, before descending short wooden steps to the runway. In Husam El-Odeh's jewellery, a juxtaposition between the new and the nostalgic occurred. Brooches, braces and necklaces were made up of broken souvenir porcelain, originally created to commemorate Prince Harry's recent wedding to Megan Markle.
Götesson has explored sexuality before; for A/W 17 and S/S 18 the designer showed his subtle propositions for masculine sensuality, combining bagginess with mesh close to the skin. This season, the knitwear revealed open sides of skin and slivers of the upper body under open jackets. But there were also elements of humour in the approach to sex this season; t-shirts had drawn on six-packs, in what looked like Sharpie.
This exploration of growing masculinity, tradition and function feels fitting as Götesson makes his sure and steady move to the forefront of London menswear designers. A considered collection, we saw clothes that were at once sweet and sexy in the way that can only be truly delivered in hindsight.