German born Rey Benedict Pador‘s bold and fascinating graduation collection “…one more try…” was one of the big surprises of this year’s student show of the fashion department of Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts. I watched the show online (stream here) with a friend a few days ago and we both nearly fell off our chairs when the first models walked down the runway is the fragmented, fetishy, often transparent designs. I was curious to know more about this, so I contacted the young designer, who was born near Cologne in 1983, to ask him about his intentions. Here’s what Rey wrote to me, followed by pictures of a shooting of the collection by photographer Boy Kortekaas.
“The collection is a mirror of what I like in men, of my own obsessions. This is my first men’s collection, so I had to choose a subject I’m actually affected by and I decided to deal with homosexuality. My sources of inspiration were the stereotypes of men we all have in our heads: The hunter, the warrior, the hero, the priest and the king, and I tried to find equivalents amongst the fetishes that exist in the gay scene, such as daddies, bears, twinks, queens etc. Other sources were gay literature, and even gay porn. As a reference for the clothes I was inspired by the menswear of the twineties, thirties and fourties, when every single piece had a meaning and was worn in a specific situation.
I don’t understand and never understood why labeling yourself plays such a big role for many people. If you only live in one box after the next, you will never fully become yourself. I wanted to show a group of men that have decided not to belong to a certain group. And who don’t make secret out of who and how they love. Also, transparency is very important for me. The more you see of something, the less you doubt it.“
For pictures of the runway show and a couple of beautiful collages Rey has made in preparation of the collection, please check out his profile page on the Academy’s site by clicking on the guy with the hat in this index page. And please don’t forget to check out the other students’ works as well, especially the ones by Wali Mohammed Barrech (the guy to the left of him) and Manon Kündig (to the left of Wali) and Miquel Boutens (in the middle in the back). Picture of the show (c) Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.