soulland autumn/winter 16
The Danish label installed a tower of crushed cars taken over by nature in the square outside the main show venue, blasting a wild west soundtrack given exclusively to i-D.
It's only Danish design duo Soulland's second time showing at London Collections: Men, but while last season they played it safe with a reliable venue and an all-Danish model line-up cast before the show, this time they got out of their comfort zones to stage perhaps the most eye catching spectacle of the season.
Showgoers were bemused at an invite that said the presentation address was simply Bloomsbury Square -- the location of the main catwalk show space -- but with no building address. Remarkably, they set up shop outside -- in London, in January, 40 minutes after a torrential downpour -- with massive floodlights illuminating a stack of crushed cars, reclaimed by grasses and vines, with models kitted out in layers of snakeskin, teddybear fur, tech fabrics, denim and tartan.
i-D can exclusively present the presentation soundtrack, mixed by Djuna Barnes, above. Have a listen while reading our catch up with creative director Silas Adler, below...
Tell us about this incredible installation?
We wanted to blend the brand much more with London, because it has an energy that will merge well with London. So we went for more of an East London look and did all the casting from here. We thought: we need to get completely out of our comfort zone and be outside… it's such a mental thing to be outside in winter in London! Instead of trying to look for the 'best' locations, we just opened up shop next to a good location, where everyone is going in anyway!Also we wanted to do a nice installation to reflect the stories behind the collection.
What are the stories behind the collection?
It's this forest in Georgia [USA], where it's like a massive private forest and the owner, for some reason, started putting out cars there, old car wrecks, for the last 30 years; so now there's hundreds of cars just standing out in the forest in the middle of nowhere, and all the plants and trees and everything grows through the cars. It's sort of like nature reclaiming space: you put an industrial product in the middle of nature, and nature is like, 'Fuck off, this is my spot'! It's sort of like Chernobyl and all the buildings there.
How do the clothes relate to that?
Putting cars in the forest -- to me, that's an arrogant hillbilly. I mean, it's fucking stupid. So the collection is hillbilly inspired: you have ripped pants with oil stains, the base leather shirt with cowboy details, snakeskin chaca fabrics -- in the south of America there are rattlesnakes, so it's like rough nature. We worked with longer, heavier silhouettes -- teddybear cardigans, oversized workers pants; worn with Timberland boots, but we wanted them to look fucked, so we drove some of them over with a car -- the quality's so good, we drove over them like 20 times, and they still look sort of new!
Text Charlotte Gush
Photography Jason Lloyd-Evans