PARIS, France — The immigrant experience in Germany of Serhat Isik and Benjamin Huseby’s parents features large in the narrative of their brand GmbH. They called their new collection Survival Strategies to acknowledge the ways immigrants find to validate their existences, to prove their beauty in a new world.
So the theme of the collection was support, literalised in the braces that crisscrossed the backs of tops and jackets, and the hefty belts that cinched suits up high. Isik acknowledged there was an orthopedic connotation, but he also said they were bringing sexiness back (literally, in this body conscious case) in the way the elasticity, the seaming and the zips defined the torsos of the models, male and female, particularly in the artful elevation of the butt. Anyone with an antediluvian memory might recall the similarly radical effects that Antony Price achieved in the late 70s in his store Plaza on the Kings Road. I make that point only because it’s always valuable to be reminded of contemporary fashion’s primogeniture.
The designers claimed their focus this time was more on women. “We’re speaking to our mums,” said Huseby. “It’s very personal, very anecdotal.” One of those anecdotes involved the red sari his Norwegian mother wore to marry his Pakistani dad. So there were sari-like embroideries scattered through the collection, as well as gilded coin dot fabrics that brought East West. It was an engaging way to underscore the sense of continuity in community.
But GmBH’s claim to nowness lies along a broader spectrum – not just the immediate community of family, but also an embrace of otherness, alongside a commitment to as much reuse and recycling as they can integrate into their collection (the denim was a special focus). Just like last season, the collection’s print was a stinging nettle, the invasive urban weed that doubles as a potent source of nutrition. It all depends on how you choose to look at it, which could be GmbH's credo. And, by the way, special kudos to Lukas Heerich’s soundtrack, which took the notion of elevated community and ran with it to shazam-proof heights.