By the end of March, we’ve learnt that Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Işık are stepping down from their creative director roles at Trussardi. The exit came on the heels of the resignation of the Italian company’s entire board of directors, which has also prompted the departure of CEO Sebastian Suhl. In other words, Trussardi is a financial shipwreck, with its future looking very, very misty. The good thing about this event is that these two brilliant designers will be able to again fully focus on their Berlin-based label, GmbH – which to be very frank is a way more fascinating endeavor to be invested in creatively than Trussardi.
For autumn-winter 2023, Huseby and Işık tried something new at their label. Nothing says couture more than an oversize bow, and there was more than one of them – as well as stoles and streamers – in the GmbH collection, which might be described as a study in atonal glamour. The lookbook pictures are a world away from the smoky, dark setting of the performance the designers staged in Paris with the help of friends from their hometown. Dancers from its city ballet performed to the live music of Labour, using gestures to convey elegance through different lenses. Their glitch-like movements referenced both the hauteur of ’50s couture and its reclamation by marginal communities in the ballroom (vogueing) and drag cultures. At GmbH changing the focus from personal history and trauma to fashion history was, noted Huseby, “a way of finding freedom with fashion for us.” Added Isik: “I also think we are really interested in challenging ourselves with taking on full-on glamour because it’s not something that we’re necessarily associated with, or even so comfortable with.” No jitters were revealed in this confident collection, which the designers said included references to Yves Saint Laurent and Azzedine Alaïa. Many signature silhouettes were back, such as the short coat dress, but it was transformed – and transformable – with streamers that could be tied tight to bound the corset or fly free, with a train-like sweep. The off-the-shoulder bow tops in velvet or with big bows were especially unexpected takes on menswear. Huseby and Isik have been recontextualizing womenswear tropes in menswear since the beginning, but it hit different within the “couture” framework of this collection.
Here are some of my favourite GmbH items you can get right now:
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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