Walking into the Oasis Sports Hall last week in London’s busy Holborn during London Men’s collection, the pedestrian nature of the council run sports centre was transformed into Cottweiler’s chosen space to exhibit their latest collection. Rather than adapt to what is prescribed of designers on the Fashion Week schedule, Cottweiler took what was expected of them, and other menswear designers to a whole new level of precision and presentation.
Using the badminton halls, spectators were able to see the three separate rooms from mezzanine level or ground level transformed into contextless spaces for a new found male expression of peace and zen. Mundane interiors were contrasted with sharp uses of light and the sound of chanting. The distinction between sportswear, spirituality and the setting of a show home created a new form of fashion presentation unlike anything else happening in London.
So, to find out more about their impressive collection we spoke to the art director behind the collection, Nicke Bildstein Zaar, about the ideas that he worked with Cottweiler on and how they were invested in the show.
We also commissioned Ryan Skelton to take photographs of their presentation.
I was told by a guy I met that the Oasis Sports Centre has a bit of a legacy, there was more than just fitness going on in there, especially in the locker rooms. I like that ambiance, we all create our own temples these days. So when Matt & Ben confirmed the venue it felt kind of perfect, i thought for a second we might change the concept of the scenography but we went for it, carpeted it all up, and installed the vertical blinds and brought in the mail catalogue furniture.
I think these generic show home showrooms are the most nihilistic thing. Completely numbing in their blandness.
There is this duality to an interior like this, in one way they can inspire feelings of comfort , while at the same time create this sensation of an imposing threat. I always liked this quote by Bill Vaughan showcasing the absurdity of human existence; “Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”
I don’t know if young people, at least within the context that I exist, aspire to this, it feels very alien.
Yet I do love the materials and textures you find in these environments.