The showpieces for Icelandic designer Sruli Recht's first menswear collection are made of 21 blackbirds and 27 stillborn lambs.
Icarus, Post-Crash (above) is made of skinned and tanned blackbirds sewn onto a reindeer hide, while Born Out of This (below) is made of lamb skins pieced together into a coat.
Called When Gravity Fails, the collection incorporates Icelandic wool and leathers made of horse, hunted wild reindeer, birds, fish and lamb.
Photographs are by Marinó Thorlacius.
The information below is from Sruli Recht:
When Gravity Fails - a diagonal line for men
“born out of this
and trying to get back in
worn out from bliss
and floating in sin
falling back through this future
and from where I’ve been
draped raw from within
“Icarus, post-crash” Show Piece One
21 Svartfugl [blackbirds] on a hunted wild reindeer base. After meeting a group of hunters, hunting birds and beasts, we struck up a deal: all the birds they could bring me, in exchange for a pound of breath.
And birds they brought, bags and bags of them. Hands soaked in feathers and flesh, they were sorted through, sent on ice to my tanner (a craftsman so brilliant I heard he once tanned air). What returned to our studio was not a pile of feathers and feet but rather the full-bodied, beaked husks of those once soft flying blackbirds. And out of their box they were pulled, put onto the stand, and the garment quite literally designed itself. All we had to do was sew it together... by hand and heart, on a reindeer base, body to body to back to wing, to have our Icarus, post crash, sombre and in between.
“Born out of this” Show Piece Two
27 still born lambs, 3 regular lambs, military dead-stock lining. And it was said, during a conversation in the cold, cavernous walls of the tannery, chromium sulphate hanging low in the air, and not a piece of natural light leaking in, “what is that heap over there?” Looking vaguely at the iridescent white pile to his left, said he “That...? They were not meant to be.” And so it was agreed, I would take those lost souls, and from him to me they came.
Shaken, preferred, and pieced together, these almost once vessels, together now one, and draped as a single square, and a sleeve, and a pleated set/raglan hybrid, with darted shaping. A coat to end all, and begin again.
The collection consists of a total look - from coats, jackets and cardigans, to trousers, shorts and leggings, complimented by shoes, boots, bags, gloves and silver jewellery - 55 styles, approximately 130 with material variations. Our shoe/ boot samples are produced by Guðrún Edda Einarsdóttir.
The studio worked very closely with Atlantic Leather, a tannery in the north of Iceland run by the native Icelanders, working with the raw skins to make new materials... basically designing new leathers. I spent a lot of time up there playing with’ better these skins, and designing their treatments and finishes. So that is where all the leathers in this collection come from — horse, hunted wild reindeer, birds, fish and lamb.
Similarly we are using Icelandic wool and working with a local knit producer here to make our own knit constructions. All this means that about 98% of the collection is made from Icelandic materials, and material that we have in some way developed in our studio. The other 2% is the jersey we have to import because it isn’t made here.
We have spent the last year taming these wild and fantastic natural Icelandic materials for an international market. Our debut men's line was presented during Men´s Fashion Week in January 2011 at Showroom Romeo and Tranoi, Paris.
Photographer - Marinó Thorlacius
Model - Emil Þór Guðmundsson
Stylist - Arash Arfazadeh
|Masked – In Flight|
by Sruli Recht
by Sruli Recht