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The invitation for Bernhard Willhelm’s brilliantly bonkers SS13 presentation was a printed out email containing a screengrab of a soundboard with the subject line ‘Re: Fwd: Invitation bw/ what do you think of the invite?? too abstract??’ But what is abstract for the man who season after season dreams up LOUD and living clothes in Willy Wonka ways. Abstract is nothing. For this particular season, Wilhelm Wonka’s models were sprawled across the floor, writhing slowly, or gliding amongst the crowd like zombies, to dark, ominous music. They were frozen in time, with white faces, white eyelashes and primitive long wigs, hanging their heads and clutching bizarre jars containing photographs of their former selves, as if they’d been abducted and had their souls sucked out. Each outfit required careful study, ranging from bright baroque prints with psychedelic smiley faces worked into the swirls on matching bomber jackets and cycling shorts, to kaleidoscopic prints clashed with giant gold ruffle sleeves. Zebra print dripped with lime green threads, denim trousers were shredded to within an inch of their lives, graphic tartan circles partnered black and yellow checked shorts and freaky blue smiley faces adorned T-shirts. Silhouettes were generally top heavy with huge automat shoulders and tight to the bone leggings, and accessories included giant black visors, leather camping rucksacks (a stirring trend for SS13), baseball caps, and moon boot style trainers with safety rope lacing and zig zag soles. It was as mad as a hatter but exciting, stimulating and when broken down, only one part wild, two parts wearable.
Text: Sarah Raphael
Photography: Mitchell Sams
Click here to see our SS13 Menswear coverage in full.