- Text Alex James Taylor
- Photography Harry Clark
- 11th June 2016
The usual response to having just graduated is a state of fear, uncertainty and – most commonly – a killer hangover. But for Swedish-born designer Per Götesson, such time hasn’t been afforded nor needed. Here he is making his debut at London Collections: Men, the day after graduating from his MA at the Royal College of Art.
“I like normal things, because they are more valid socially than wearing abstract sculptures – I just want the guy I’m dressing to feel great.” These were the decisive words that Götesson chose to represent his vision, and they rang true in his SS17 offering. In the centre of the venue models stood, slouched and leaned against a pile of discarded mattresses that the Princess would turn her nose up at in disgust – pea or no pea.
Cut it. Tie it. Stick it. Twist it. Manipulating his materials with innovative craft, Götesson treads the line between art and commerciality (with no apologies given). By way of a distinctive DIY approach, the designer cuts a ‘rough-around-the-edge’ accessibility against tongue-in-cheek wit. Just consider his recent project Poetical Functions, in which he built pockets into garments designed to hide bottles of wine on the bus – now there’s some practicality we can really get behind.
It all stems from everyday utilitarianism, here are clothes created to be worn, and worn to create in. Having grown up in the forested Swedish province of Småland (a literal translation of “small lands”), Götesson weaves his hometown’s sensibilities into his designs. There’s a sense of functionality throughout, take those practical accessories (a toothbrush, a can and a lighter covered with beer ring pulls), the coffee-stained T-shirt (a workman’s staple), or the detailed stitched logo, mimicking the imprint of the Swedish snuff box in the back pocket of his father’s jeans.