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Bernhard Willhelm Menswear S/S12

The designer served up his quirky, colourful collection and spoke to Dazed about being inspired by Jesus, bodybuilding and basketball

Yesterday in Paris’ Mercedes-Benz space on the Champs Elysées, Bernhard Willhelm did his usual nutty number – theatrical, colourful, and miles away from the little black dress (or suit). The show kicked off with a female bodybuilder who posed around cars, pouted and occasionally honked. The looks were a patchwork of influences ranging from Jesus to bodybuilding and basketball: think plastic crowns, abs, and body conscious shorts. As usual, the collection offered a mix of oversized, ripped garment, skin tight shorts and plenty of body paint. Dazed Digital spoke bible-chic and the beauty of garbage with Bernhard at the end of the show.

Dazed Digital: There seemed to be many Jesus reference in the collection – was this a leading theme?
Bernhard Willhelm:
Well, it’s more about how you would imagine Jesus in 2011 – someone free, free in his sexuality and his relation to others.

DD: So would you describe the collection’s philosophy as a modern hippy?
Bernhard Willhelm: Well, there is a definite Ibiza feeling, but also a recycling spirit. I tried to value trash and the idea that it can be very beautiful, in its colour and texture. You can see this in the dyes, in the scarves.

DD: There is also a fair amount of body-building going on – are male ideals changing?
Bernhard Willhelm: I get the feeling that men can only be open about their sexuality on the internet, they seem to have lost their opennesss and that was part of the inspiration, looking to regain freedom.