In A Man’s World

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“My role in all of this is very simple. I make clothing like armor. My clothing protects you from unwelcome eyes.”

— Yohji Yamamoto

It is in these words by Yohji Yamamoto that we find both tenderness and a touch of sadness. We know of the power of clothing to shield and protect, and in times, we have welcomed the use of clothing as a “Cloak of Invisibility”, working its magic. Nonetheless, we are filled with hope that we are moving towards a more inclusive future in which protection is less needed and we can dress freely and in accordance with our own comfort and creativity.

In 2017, trend forecaster Li Edelkoort announced “The Emancipation of Everything” and in recent years, we have seen gender boundaries become more fluid on the runways in collections ranging from Eckhaus Latta to BODE. Simplicity and an individual reconnecting to the earth are quietly but surely maturing, visible in our search for what Edelkoort describes as a “stronger and more conceptual culture”. Our expression of self is no longer synonymous with bright colours and elaborate cuts but rather found in simple clothing of high-quality natural fabrics made from linen or wool. Beige and white, traditionally seen as bland non-colours, have been revived and reintroduced in tailoring and fluid pieces, shining like beacons of hope, reflecting our desire for peace and harmony. According to Edelkoort, we are slowly turning into a matriarchal society in which men are freed to express their nurturing sides, as well as their vulnerability and tenderness, whilst women reinvent and assert their roles in the world.

The simple designs of Belgium designer Jan-Jan Van Essche are at the heart of our editorial. Van Essche’s pieces are stripped down to their essence, giving full glory to the truly beautiful fabrics, the Belgian-made tailoring and often single-fabric constructions. The wearer becomes enveloped in a cocoon radiating with warmth and propagating a holistic vision of fashion design that transcends seasonality and promises life-long companionship. 

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Team:

Photography:
Anna Rosa Krau @Klaus Stiegemeyer and Talent and Partner

Styling + Words:
Sophia Schwan @Klaus Stiegemeyer

Hair & Makeup:
Natalia Vermeer

Models:
Marie @ Mirrrs and Charly @ Izaio 

Words:
Dörte de Jesus & Sophia Schwan

Credits:

Our latest fashion story has come into being as a collaboration with our friends at Atelier Solarshop, with additional jewellery by Rena Sala Store and a few handpicked vintage items by Comme Des Costumes.

Artisanal crafts, organic minimalism, vintage and antiques discovered at flea markets are artfully arranged in one of Antwerp’s most unique retail stores: Atelier Solarshop. What used to be a solar panel shop has been transformed into a post-consumer retail experience that celebrates original craft works, painstaking tailoring, century-old traditions and long-lasting human connections. Hosted by Piëtro Celestina and celebrated fashion designer Jan-Jan Van Essche, Atelier Solarshop invites the visitor to engage in a tactile journey of handwoven fabrics, polished wood and earthen ceramics, and stocks precious items by craftsmen and women such as Christopher Duncan, Evan Kinori, Cosmic Wonder or Stephanie Schneider, to name a few. The duo personally knows each of the designers who they have invited into their world, making sure that their ethos and visions are aligned with their own.

Further Reading & References:

Li Edelkoort, The Emancipation of Everything

bell hooks, Feminism Is For Everybody

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists Book and TED Talk

Credits in Detail:

Page 1: Vintage blazer; Charly: T-Shirt by Jan-Jan Van Essche, vintage suit and belt

Page 2: Charly: Utility belt, shirt and trousers by Jan-Jan Van Essche, vintage utility bag, belt and shoes; Marie: Shirt and top trousers by Jan-Jan Van Essche, vintage trousers (underneath) and brogues, earring by Modern Weaving 

Page 3: Charly: Vintage overall and brogues

Page 4: Marie: Trenchcoat by Marina Yee, dress by Jan-Jan Van Essche; Blouse by Jan-Jan Van Essche, earring by Modern Weaving 

Page 5: Charly: T-Shirt by Jan-Jan Van Essche, vintage suit and belt

Page 6: Marie: Vintage blazer, earring by Modern Weaving: Vintage blazer, t-shirt and pants, suspenders by nejicommu, mules by Totême, earring by Modern Weaving 

Page 7: Coat, blouse, trousers and utility belt by Jan-Jan Van Essche, vintage beret

Page 8: Marie: Trenchcoat by Marina Yee, dress by Jan-Jan Van Essche, Blazer, vintage t-shirt and pants, suspenders by nejicommu, earring by Modern Weaving 

Page 9: Charly: Trousers by Jan-Jan Van Essche 

Page 10: Charly: Blouse by Mittan, trousers by Jan-Jan Van Essche; Kimono coat: Jan-Jan Van Essche 

Page 11: Marie: Kimono coat and dungarees: Jan-Jan Van Essche Shirt: Mittan; Charly: Coat, blouse, trousers and utility belt: Jan-Jan Van Essche Beret and mules: Vintage 

Page 12: Marie: Denim jacket by Evan Kinori, vintage top; Charly: Earring by Nathalie Schreckenberg, kimono coat by Jan-Jan Van Essche