A Sensory Observation of Boris Bidjan Saberi
When observing the work of the German-Persian menswear designer, Boris Bidjan Saberi, there is a palpable aura of excitement in the air, stimulating the senses in an ultimate spin.
Extreme environmental conditions always seem to play a major role in Saberi´s DNA. While his previous Autumn Winter 2017 collection seemingly took place in the Antarctic, with ice fields so wide, they could blind you, the recently presented Spring Summer 2018 Collection took the Sahara Desert as its battleground. The designs gave the impression of used military uniforms, worn by combat fighters who crashed into the desert's vastness after an engine breakdown. Together, the uniformed troops sallied on their journey through the desert, where the wind was whipping sand like needles in their dry, sunburnt faces, to eventually find traces of mankind.
SIGHT. Sand. Barren desert plants weave their parched twigs together in the search for shadow. The color palette consists of brown hues with olive greens, which is only broken by a dash of military horn orange. The uniformed morph into the shades of the wasteland. The high demands on accurate tailoring, as well as on modified fabrics and skins, is clearly set into focus. The washed canvas jackets are layered on top of cotton shirts, with leather aprons fastened with side straps, as an ode to the craftsmen. Cut-off canvas vests appear to be accidently torn apart during a crash, while enormous knits and finished leather jackets find coexistence. Burning traces into the visual memory.
TOUCH. Skin on skin. Human, animal. The interaction between the human body and the animal skin is brought to the extreme. Boris spends tireless hours manipulating fabrics, dying leather and experimenting with emulsions of epoxy resins for the signature finish. In his SS18 Collection, he uses vegetable tanned albino kangaroo, object dyed horse leather as well as cow leather. A tactile approach to identify with the connection between living entities.
HEARING. A mutual acoustic connection rose between Boris Bidjan Saberi and the Iceland-based, Australian-born composer Ben Frost. His compositions range from fading sound scrapes to pounding pulses, which are heavily laid upon the hearer. Emanating from the land of fire and ice, Frost absorbs his natural surrounding, translating it into euphonious sound patterns. For the Spring Summer 2018 show, Ben Frost captures the noise of a struggling engine. An engine, which keeps up the fight until the ultimate collapse. Two craftsmen ⏤ likeminded spirits transcending the liminal space ⏤ finding one another, weaving themselves together in patterns older than memory.
SMELL. Human pheromones are chemical messages, which are sent out through, inter alia, the surface of the skin. A distinguishing component of the individual. In collaboration with the maverick perfumer Geza Schön, Boris created 11, a unisex smell based on 11 ingredients composed with ISO E Super as a base. It is built on notes of vegetable tanned horse skin, a key feature of Boris Bidjan Saberi’s designs. Other components significantly contributing to the iconic smell are waxes and oils, which eventually melt together with the wearers’ pheromones. It displays an olfactory journey to his craftsmanship.
Boris Bidjan Saberi is perpetually seeking for the richness of silent details. He is not only satisfying the hunger of the eyes, but also manages to create a new awareness for the tactile, olfactory and auditory senses. His work is an ode to his craftsmanship as well as to his cultural belongings. A tribute to the primitive, nurtured by the senses. And his story continues.
Photos by Matteo Carcelli