Mid-20th century psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg elaborated a theory stating that times of hardship encouraged societies to produce amazing beings to protect it. Interestingly enough, designer Benjamin Bertram has a similar theory when it comes to fashion: in times of financial instability, great creativity is born. Following this idea, the Sheffield Hallam University graduate and Brightest Spark exhibition winner decided to base his Menswear Graduate Collection: Suburban Boys around the idea of the disenfranchised youth in Britain, taking inspiration from Suburban Subcultures as well as what he calls “the boy himself”, this idealised image of “a cool street lad with a cheeky wink”.
Every piece shown in this collection possesses a unique urban twist, as well as a black and white disposition enhanced by light accents of gold (which, we are told, is a reference to Bling in Rap culture).
In this look-book, model Jurek Bartoszewicz poses for 5 different looks:
Look 1 stars a white shirt, a T-Top, a pair of leggings, a fur clip and (oh joy) a kilt which nicely renews the genre and gives some slack to our sometimes misunderstood Scottish friends. As for the rest of the collection, Benjamin here turns the most basic fabrics in the designer’s arsenal and constructs a new outlook on suburban youth out of it. Furthermore, the cut and form create a look that is “cool and directional”, but still wearable.
Look 2 sees fabrics get a bit rougher, with exhibit number one being the leather tank top. I wonder if the fact that it reminds us of a bulletproof jacket is intentional and in harmony with the inspiration taken from tough neighborhoods. The look also comprises a heavy jacket and is complimented by white shorts worn with leggings.
The third attire is constituted of the same pair of legging added to a jumpsuit which adds to the slightly rough look, as these garnments are usually associated with the military. They are however experiencing a revival, mainly due to their practicality.
Benjamin’s penultimate accoutrement comprises a crop jog top which once more has a general military feel to it, leggings, a white shirt and, alternatively, a pair of comfortable low crotch trousers.
The best was saved for last, as the last look is constituted of a very impressive long jumpsuit which adds to the jumpsuit’s benefits those of a low crotch pair of trousers.
Benjamin Bertram’s Menswear Graduate Collection: Suburban Boys is set to be shown in the Brightest Spark exhibition to be held in Sheffield in October of this year.