Boris Bidjan Saberi Interview
Sleek: The materials used in these garments are striking, can you tell me the story behind your S/S15 collection?
Boris: The whole story began a year ago when I started sculpting leather and manipulating it in a way to get volume out of it. I wanted the leather to be more organic, three dimensional. I have looked for ways to create an interaction between the human body and the animal skin. That was a starting point. I pursued working with different kinds of natural and chemical resins like the epoxy one. In the end, I’m curious to find my own techniques to do things in my own way, without knowing anything, before diving into it.
How has your leather-work technique evolved into the leather vests for this S/S collection?
I create most of the materials that I use from scratch, including the leather. I choose the hides and then I tan them using my own techniques, which are pretty old fashioned and not in use any longer.
Most of the hides are vegetable tanned, which means that I don’t use chemicals. Handling the whole process of tannery allows me to become more familiar with the process and the material, I need to understand the material to be able to give such shapes.
This collection is very industrial in its construction. How did you work both sculptural and functional elements into the finished pieces?
I always need two opposite guidelines in my collection : a more artistic and creative part and a realistic one, which is more about a silhouette and the functionality of the garment. This collection has been inspired by the Bundeswehr, the German army. Military essentials are very interesting, I think these are the best designed garments in the world because they’re absolutely functional and answer very specific needs.
Who did you work with to develop the skin caps for this collection?
I developed those skin caps with my makeup artist Tan Binh Nguyen. He is an amazing guy. We built the caps up together. He knows a lot about techniques because he’s working and collaborating with the opera and film industries and he helped me to find the best way to create an second-skin like helmet.
You recently designed costumes for Ben Frost’s opera, “The Wasp Factory”, how did you and Ben connect?
Ben Frost sent me an email two years ago saying that he likes my work and asking if I was interested in having a look at his work. I’ve been really amazed by what he creates. We met in Barcelona and fell in love, or I fell in love. He’s an amazing man, he’s very creative and I like him a lot as a human being. Everything started from there. That’s the necessary base I need when I’m starting to work with someone. Later on, Ben asked me about the costume design for “The Wasp Factory” and I said “Yeah, wow, why not!”.
Do you feel that you’ve created an identity with your diffusion line, 11, which opens up collaboration possibilities with streetwear brands like Reebok?
The 11 line is industrially produced and focused on high performances. Boris Bidjan Saberi is more experimental with a big focus on hand made elements in every single garment. With 11, we try to figure out the best way to produce a garment with the highest expertise and the best quality in an industrial level. That’s also why the whole Reebok collaboration began. Reebook has years of experience on the development of sneakers and the Pump Fury is an iconic model, that was very appealing to merge their know-how with our creativity.
As far as designing for performance, do you see a crossover in your collaborations between developing costumes for opera versus designing clothing for the street?
Actually, I don’t think so far. Everything that I do is connected and makes sense. In the end, what I’ve done until now is sort of an evolution. We make collaborations with both the 11 line and Boris Bidjan Saberi. Ben Frost perfectly suits the values I put behind Boris Bidjan Saberi. He’s creative, he’s crazy and he’s building that up live. Ben is shaping matter from scratch. For me, that’s Boris Bidjan Saberi.
Text by Katherine Koniecki
Boris Bidjan Saberi 11 Fall Winter 2014
As much as I want to distance myself from the people and ideas associated with ‘street goth’ the technical aesthetic is certainly growing on me. I find it very hard to say anything negative about Boris’ work but it’s not as if I restrain myself from doing so, he’s just that good. I hope to see him contain this feel within the ‘11’ line so he can really explore his more artisinal side with the mainline.
Boris Bidjan Saberi Men’s Spring Summer 2015
The season has just started but Boris is already a strong candidate for the best collection in my humble opinion. I’m elated to see the return of the open weave - almost net like - fabric. The entirety of the collection is so cohesive I feel as though any of the pieces could be worn together.
As usual what few colors Boris has used are exemplary. Green has been something I’ve long considered incorporating in to my wardrobe and I think this may be the season I succumb. The distressed grey-green is one of the most fantastic tones I’ve seen in ages.
This whole collection seems to follow Boris’ recent shift toward a tighter more tailored look although I’m thankful to see some baggier options included. I couldn’t have asked for much more from this collection. I’m all too happy.
More info on the collection via Now Fashion
The inspiration for this collection came from pretty far away actually, but the collection was mostly about moulding my own produced leather,” said Boris Bidjan Saberi after presenting his Spring Summer 2015 collection at Garage Lübeck. All types of leather were present in his collection, ranging from horse to kangaroo.
Bidjan Saberi paid much attention to his material choices. Besides using his own leather, the cashmeres, cotton and hand-knits were featured prominently.
"My focus has been on very opposite points, but I have tried to make military references.
Moulding his own leather evolved into big backpacks, again inspired by military style. Apart from the bags, he experimented with moulding even more, creating an impressive coat attached to the back of a suit jacket.
Kangaroo leather was not the only thing taken from Australia. His collaboration with the Australian musician Ben Frost functioned as the perfect background for the almost marching models.
Loyal as he is, Boris wanted to be sure all the journalists got the name of the designer he collaborated with for a part of his footwear collection right. It was Muñoz Vrandecic, the designer he first met when he was starting an accessories label called UCANFUCKW, with whom he created the perforated leather boots.
The leather boots, strong music and industrial look of Garage Lübeck had everything to create the military references the designer was aiming for.
Boris Bidjan Saberi - Transparent Skins
Boris Bidjan Saberi FW14
Boris Bidjan Saberi Spring Summer 2014 Collection Preview
Boris Bidjan Saberi Spring Summer 2014
Boris Bidjan Saberi x Atelier New York
"We are proud to present an exclusively designed six piece collection by Boris Bidjian Saberi.
All pieces from this very limited edition are handmade and hand stitched at his atelier in Barcelona.”
Long sleeved knitted t-shirt with thumb stirrups,
3D knitted tubular scarf and
densely knitted hat all in 100% cashmere
Handmade and hand stitched horse leather trousers
100% Cashmere tank top