pieter spring/summer 16

Now in his forth season, LCF graduate Pieter tackles the urban experience.

by Stuart Brumfitt
14 June 2015, 11:25am

Sebastiaan Pieter presented his vision of menswear for spring/summer 16 at London's Victoria House on the third day of LC:M this morning. i-D popped into the Dutchman's Hackney studio as he was preparing the final pieces and here's what we found out about the latest collection for his own-surname-named brand, Pieter.

A hot tatted man off Tumblr is his muse
Friends of mine would always see the photo and be like, "Wow, who's he?" And then all of a sudden I was like, "Wait, why don't I do something with that?" It fascinates me. He's just referencing everything with the tattoos: tribal, a Japanese sleeve, Egyptian hieroglyphs, a traditional sailor bird and then a star. You're just like, "What the fuck is this?" It's also a bit like how we work today: you just grab images and references from everywhere and throw it together. I wanted to bring in some graphic element besides text, so I took these tattoos and embroidered them on. We wanted to play on the idea of how we just take images from online and everyone's using whatever. And tattoos are very personal, but everybody has them, so how personal is it actually? I'm quite interested in this idea that this could then be manufactured, and you could have someone else's tattoos on your body. With the tattoos also come these ideas of piercing, so we have these piercings on the trousers and the jackets as well.

Mostly made in England, jersey from Japan
All the jersey's from Japan and it feels like when you get a sleeve for your cast in the hospital. Then we had this waffle fabric in the winter collection and I wanted to repeat that in the summer, only lighter. Most of this is made in London. I work with one tailoring factory that is based in Norwich, but they out-source it to a factory they have abroad. And then the knitwear is made in Belgium. I use a lot of Japanese fabrics and when I meet them it's about the quality that they develop. I have these fabrics that have a permanent crease in them for the new collection. And the one that I was showing that has this hospital feeling to it. You wouldn't really find that anywhere else. Having really nice fabric makes a big difference. If it's a really nice fabric people will be like, "Oh yeah, I'll wear it, even if it's got a big hole in it."

If you want a dress or a romper suits, come to Pieter
We had a dress with a zip in the last collection and I wanted to see if I could repeat it, because New Gen is bringing my collection to a bigger platform. I wanted to take some of the things that people responded really well to and do them in a new way. You can zip it up both ways. The same with the romper, or jumpsuit.

But even the dresses are all about masculinity
There's a lot of dialogue about masculinity and femininity and people usually talk about me being a "gender bender". But when I'm designing I always think about masculinity. I never think - even when I'm designing a dress - "Oh I wanna be on the boundary of men and women" or I'm trying to be androgynous. It's like, "No I'm a man, so how can I make this garment feel like it's a manly thing?"

It's tonal and dull - in a good way
It's very tonal, very grey. At some point I did have a very colourful story for summer, but it's actually quite hard, and I think once it comes to what you want to actually wear, and what you want to put in your wardrobe, these are colours that everyone gravitates towards. You could be like, "Oh it looks really boring and dull", but at the same time there's something really great about how boring it is. I was looking at another colour but couldn't find what I wanted and then I thought, "I've already got so many things going on that I don't really want to add anything else." And I don't want to be loud anyway.

And actually very wearable
With my autumn/winter collection, I wanted to wear everything. When I'm going away I'm like, "Oh I'm gonna grab these pieces cause I want to wear them on holiday." And I think that's the good thing about this collection: there are some new ideas there and some things where I'm pushing the boundaries a little bit, but then there's still this massive chunk of just really wearable clothes. The pieces that were picked up by stores last season were probably the more crazy things, like the jumpers with slashes in them.

He's got a Donna Karan obsession
I'm quite obsessed with Donna Karan. You think of her brand now and you're like, "Oh it's not the most exciting thing that's happening", but it was so big. She came up with this amazing concept of having a basic wardrobe of seven easy pieces. And then you go, "Oh that was brilliant." I love thinking about that aspect actually: those seven easy pieces.

Other inspirations, besides Donna Karan:
I always look at Brancusi images. He's a sculptor. I love the clash between the different elements: you have the really polished metal, together with concrete and wood. He comes back to the idea of masculinity. Lucio Fontana as well. He was someone I'd been looking at for a very long time - his super powerful gesture of just cutting a canvas, and then bringing so much tension into it. And I love the idea of being athletic, like how do you have a wardrobe that you can still stay active with in the city, but still look quite formal?

In case you didn't know, artists are the new popstars
I've always thought about the art crowd as a big influence. I really loved collaborating with Prem Sahib, because I also had his sculptures at my spring/summer collection. And then the season before I showed in Southard Reid, the gallery. We had Celia Hempton's pictures at the back of the lookbook as well. The art crowd is what I get most excited about. Maureen Paley [gallerist] bought one of the Fun Now! jumpers and it's like, "This is insane!" I'm just as excited about her or an artist buying a jumper as a popstar buying one. I think they're at the forefront of things. They're saying really interesting things about culture now, and you'd hope as a designer you'd say something about the culture now as well.

spring/summer 16
stuart brumfitt
ss 16