Lookbook Photography: Hedvig Jenning
Sexuality has arguably the greatest impact on fashion, playing a chief role in how we decide to dress ourselves as a means to attract or repel those we come in contact with. Deeply complex and universal, sex is charged with endless facets to explore—a world rich with overlooked niches that quietly burn beneath the surface of mainstream vanilla interests. (Just look at the bottomless pit of categories on PornHub). Sex can be laced into dress with gloss and glamour, much like Versace, or its presence can provoke the perverse, like Alexander McQueen.
Designer duo Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl, of the Swedish and German-based menswear label LAZOSCHMIDL, used this dialogue as a catalyst to inform their fall ’16 collection, “BROTHERS,” by responding to pornography narratives centered on twins. A recurring motif in erotic magazines and films, these storylines are always marked by childlike innocence—curiosity and comfortability between the two protagonists who feel comfortable exploring each other’s bodies as a trial or release.
Swedish Fashion Talents
The collection translates this naive romanticism through styling, silhouettes and fabrics. Sheer embellished tops highlight the natural male figure, while bright floral prints echo the core of LAZOSCHMIDL’s queer, boyish examination this season. One shirt reads, “I’m with stupid,” paired in the lookbook with stretchy, sparkly trousers. Crop tops in psychedelic prints add a retro, ’70s edge to the display, complemented by fur-collared faux leather jackets. Circular cut-outs on raw denim pants contribute a subtle innuendo, celebrating skin, easy access and humor.
Beyond the project’s charged background, the designers describe their latest as “a serious collection that questions the forbidden and invites us to be who we want to be, to dress how we want to dress, and to love who we want to love.” We caught up with the pair during Stockholm Fashion Week to talk about first forming their label, defining masculinity and being an outsider in the Swedish fashion scene.
Bring me through the origins of your label.
“We met pre-dating app times around 7 years ago and started the label 2 years ago—first on a conceptual project base, organically growing into smaller capsule installments, culminating with the latest collection. Now, we are here to stay.”
What’s important to you both aesthetically?
“Taste the forbidden fruit. We like to explore themes that always fascinated and attracted us, but cannot be found fully expressed elsewhere. We want to have fun and like to take fashion [for] what it is: a short term affair.”
Swedish Fashion Talents
Your collection, “BROTHERS,” was inspired by erotic twin fantasies. Tell me more about this.
“People seem to be excited about erotic films and magazine spreads where sisters or twin brothers explore their sensuality—a historic, erotic motif throughout centuries. Also, it is said that a certain percentage of twins actually do enjoy bodily interaction. So we took that thought and imagined two brothers growing up in their wallpaper-clad teenage rooms. We mixed in the suburban ennui and pre-depressive grunge momentum to create the looks that were not longer only motivated for brotherly love, but also male friendship as a greater idea—bromance.”
How do you define masculinity and femininity?
“We never question gender identity, as for us it is already melted into each other. Our garments are tailored to men, but the fit works for women, too.”
You’re reaching for a gender-neutral target market. Why is this important to you?
“It’s a natural side-effect of our design approach, but not the main motivation.”
How do you see your work fitting into the greater Stockholm fashion scene?
“We’re a little bit alien, but believe fashion should always operate from an outsider’s angle to provoke change. We’re world citizens.”
All the subtle details in “Brothers” add to the collection’s underlying sexuality. I love the back pocket cut-outs on your pants.
“There is a romance and innocence about those details, They are harmless, but supercharged with sexual appeal. The LAZOSCHMIDL boy is so confident and relaxed within himself that he doesn’t see those elements as obvious or provoking. The best practical thing about the pocket cut-outs is the fact that your partner can hold you while walking and slowly slide their hands inside.”