pieter shows us some skin for spring/summer 17
Innovative erogenous zones, references from the artist Félix González-Torres and a return to playful slogans at Sebastiaan Pieter’s third NEWGEN show.
"I like a sexy guy! A guy that's confident and aware of his body and his sexuality," Sebastiaan Pieter tells i-D after the presentation of his sixth seasonal collection, the third as part of NEWGEN MEN. For spring/summer 17, Pieter was inspired by the work of the Cuban-born American gay artist Félix González-Torres, and in particular the 1991 installation Untitled (Go-Go Dancing Platform), which constituted a platform outlined with glowing lightbulbs that acts as a stage for a series of go-go dancers in tight silver speedos and white trainers, each dancing for five minutes to their own music through headphones.
It's the silver lamé speedos that find a literal translation in the collection -- more than peeking out over waistbands, they are almost on full show with wool trousers and grey marl sweat shorts tailored to an ultra-low rise, revealing a semi-circle of skin between the speedo side and the 'waistband'. Boxy, cropped mesh polo shirts give a flash of midriff above the silver speedos too, while tight linen tops are backless and jackets are slashed down the backs of arms to ensure skin is on show from every angle.
Pieter's sloganeering is back, with 'RENT,' 'COME' and 'CHILL' printed across T-shirts, and their extended phrases 'rent boy,' 'come down,' 'chill out,' and 'fun now' translated to sterling silver necklaces that can be split in two and worn as bracelets. There are also brilliant silver broaches and earrings in the shape of a kneeling man in speedos with his hands behind his head.
Cropped, button-up shirts in 'giro inglese' (a cellular cotton mesh, according to the notes) are embroidered with sweet wrappers and pills in metallic thread. "The sweets are from Felix's work," Pieter explains. "They represent people, the weight of a person sometimes, and he allows the audience to take them away with them. There are quite deep meanings behind it, but I really wanted to put the pills in with that because it also represents a lifestyle that he was trying to explain. And I'm trying to bring that to now, some of his [candy artworks] about AIDS, but it's [also] about gay culture, I wanted to bring the pills in from our party scene, but also the medications that people are taking," he continues, adding, "That's quite deep!".
Deep concepts indeed, but the presentation wasn't at all intense or sombre. Quite the opposite, in fact: boys saunter through wooden structures fitted with floaty white drapes dancing in the breeze of a floor fan as Lana Del Rey's High By The Beach plays. "Very airy, this idea of being by the beach, very chilled out," Pieter notes. "It makes sense for summer, you want to be out and about, showing some skin!"
Text Charlotte Gush