Eventful doesn’t begin to describe Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Isik’s year; in fact, it’s been simply chaotic. On the professional side, the pair “suspended” (Huseby’s word) their collaboration with Trussardi; closer to home, Isik was involved in a serious automobile accident. Happily, he’s on the mend, but it’s no wonder that the GmbH designers wanted to make a collection both light and ameliorating.
The release of the brand’s resort 2024 menswear lineup roughly coincides with Eid al-Adha, an important Islamic celebration, involving the Qurbani ritual. “The term actually means sacrifice, but also closeness to God, closeness to spirituality, and going through these rituals, having a healing process,” explained Isik. All of which is to say that the designers searched for a positive way forward by engaging in the joyfulness and discipline of their craft; to conquer mayhem with order. The progression of the collection from white to black, as if following the path of the sun, suggests they are back on track.
They’re also back on familiar ground. The two-zip jacket from last season returned, paired with their signature double-zip trousers, inspired by German carpenter pants. The same fastener is used on shoes and a shaped asymmetric halter that combines armor and poetry. The printed pieces feature protective spells while jackets with arch-like cutouts nod to Islamic architecture of the sort you might see at the Alhambra.
One of those jackets is paired with a bandage-like bathing suit that lowers the crisscross shapes that they used to bind shoulders last season to the hips. “Living in Berlin, lake culture is so big. The idea of going from the lake to an event or to the club is really a thing,” Isik said. The male version of the concept of maillot-dressing, maybe.
You could see the designers’ use of draping as the continuation of a conversation they started for fall with trains. Isik was looking at family photos, including one of him in a cape at his circumcision ritual; whereas Huseby remembered playing with his mom’s wedding sari as a kid. To achieve that sense of drape the duo came up with a removable sash/cloak that’s hung on a ring worn as a necklace attached to a tank, with the fabric pulled through a loop on the opposite hip. They paired them with airy skorts for a look that evokes a new kind of strength, one that encompasses hard and soft.