Titled ‘’Talisman’’, the Fall/Winter 2022 collection from Berlin-based label GmbH by designer duo Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Isik questioned the protective power of fashion.
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The collection encapsulated the themes dear to the multicultural duo, which this season focused on a very personal exploration of religion, couture and sex.
As Muslim and queers, the duo questioned the constraints in their religious schooling during their teenage years, and the thirst for freedom and self-assertion. These conflicting feelings were reflected in a mixture of codes borrowed from vintage haute couture and Arab spirituality.
Caftans and tunics paired with thigh high boots became dresses when worn without trousers, exposing a part of flesh on the upper thigh; huge coats and double-breasted one-button suits were worn with knitted skull cap that were nods to taqiyah, also called kufi, topi or takke depending on region.
Other pieces with exaggerated collars and cuffs in synthetic fur and exposed backs referenced mid-20th century haute couture details, including the designs of French couturier Jacques Fath. And on some of the silk pieces, there were printed inscriptions, such as “Safe From Harm“, in Arabic calligraphy created by Syrian artist Abdelrazak Shaballot. These inscriptions referred to the hand-painted protective calligraphy found on silk undergarment worn under the armor of 16th century Ottoman soldiers or to the protective scriptures in Arabic written by Serhat’s grandfather, hidden in leather pendants (in Turkish muskas) or sewn into undergarments for anyone that required them in Turkey.
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