A photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe served as the starting point for PIETER this season. The image, titled Brian Ridley and Lyle Heeter (1979), sees two men in a well-appointed living room: one stands, wearing a leather motorcycle jacket, trousers, hat, gloves and boots, while holding a chain connected to the leather collar of the seated subject, also entirely in leather.
This contrast, between the conventional and the subversive, light and dark, is key to the AW16 collection. As with previous seasons, the PIETER man warrants a second look. Cotton poplin and Italian wool flannel is mixed with Japanese leather, a nod to Mapplethorpe’s own manner of dress. Subcultural details and references to gay culture, including ‘cruise’ and ‘HH’, are confidently blended with tailoring and activewear. It’s a masculine look intended for a man who is aware of his body.
The palette is equally contrasting. Black and dark grey, which is predominantly found in outerwear – itself a focus this season – is paired with white and cream. A black light-weight nylon overcoat, containing a zip in the cuff of the sleeve to hold a transit card or other essential paraphernalia, is layered with revealing cream jersey. Scarlet red is found throughout: in cotton poplin shirting and woollen outerwear, as well as leather accessories, such as belts and straps. Burgundy and dark green serve as accents.
AW16 also sees the formalisation of the PIETER wardrobe. Structure is created through the evolution of principal garments from previous collections, including the perfectly-tailored trouser, the oversized shirt, the bomber jacket and the anorak. Interspersed amongst seasonal pieces, this evolving uniform informs PIETER’s examination of the way modern men dress.
Shop the AW16 collection here.
Learn more about Robert Mapplethorpe here.