For his latest collection, Per Götesson began by peeling back the layers of his now well-established staples. Not just in the literal sense that you might notice in the palimpsests of jeans overlaid onto deadstock military trousers or the tops made from sliced vintage band tees but also in thinking about layered clothing as a physical manifestation of memory and the passing of time. “I was working in a very tactile way with the garments this season,” he said. “So I wanted that narrative of the time it takes to produce handmade pieces to be present.”
With his look book shot in his typically lo-fi style on a wintry morning in Hampstead Heath, the pieces Götesson was fusing by hand to create his signature hybridized garments—Royal Air Force jacket linings deconstructed to form padded coats; playfully chopped-and-screwed bomber jackets—had a more outdoorsy, utilitarian feel than usual. (Given Götesson’s nods to queer history in collections past and the images of lone, shirtless wanderers, it’s probably worth noting that the Heath is London’s most infamous spot for gay cruising.) Götesson said the collection was about finding a sense of romance in reconnecting with the natural world. “I grew up in nature and in the forest,” he added. “It’s about coming out of lockdown, in a sense, and that journey of rediscovering nature all over again.”
As usual, a well-judged counterpoint to the collection’s more overtly masculine elements came by way of the jewelry pieces produced by Götesson’s partner, Husam El Odeh. Here, El Odeh’s delicate, sculptural arrangements of seashells referenced a 19th-century trend inspired by a series of documentaries on Queen Victoria the pair watched in lockdown—another layer of history to be peeled back—while also recalling the gentlemanly elegance of a floral lapel pin with their handcrafted silver stems.
This keen interest in the hand of the maker was further explored in Götesson’s increasing emphasis on producing one-off pieces, which he’s now nicknaming his “silver label.” (A hooded coat partially crafted from an old Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo jacket, for example, comes affixed with a silver tag punched with the details of its limited-edition run.) Following his sold-out first collection of upcycled pieces produced in collaboration with the Swedish denim giant Weekday back in December and with a second already in the works, it seems he’s more confident in using his namesake label to express his aesthetic on its purest terms.
“Our customer is often a bit of an archivist and tends to gravitate to the unique pieces,” Götesson said. “I was thinking about how to build on that, especially given that customized or one-off items seem to be having a moment. It’s an interesting time.” When Götesson’s customer is ready to explore the outdoor world again post-lockdown, they’ll have the perfect bespoke uniform in which to do it.