The former Eckhaus Latta alum shares his latest lookbook, shot by Benjamin Barron
Things have changed since we last featured young Norwegian designer August Vestbo’s work under his label Bror August. For one, that collection was called “Never Had a Boyfriend Jeans” – a pretty literal interpretation of the fact that it was, simply, “about how I’ve never had a boyfriend,” as the designer told us then. Two seasons later, Vestbo has found not only a romantic partner, but a creative one, working with his boyfriend – photographer Benjamin Barron – to bring to life his latest collection.
“I always work with people I feel close to,” Vestbo explains, “it still is a really personal process.” In the past, this personality has shown in collections incorporating references from “guilty pleasures” like Harry Potter and SJP in Sex and the City – but this time it was more about the organic collaboration process that has run throughout the designer’s work so far. The dream team on this project? Fellow Norwegian artist Maria Brinch and set designer Isabel Legate.
“I wanted to make clothing that would make the person who wears it look like they are open and approachable” – August Vestbo
Similar to his own approach, what drew Vestbo to Brinch’s work was how it “exists in more than one category, her sculptures and tapestries can flow between classic decorative art and applied art.” Sometimes sold as gym bags or tapestries turned to bed blankets, the designer was drawn to the way “her works break down art into something people can live with and appreciate every day,” manifesting here in her turning her wood sculptures into earrings and keychains for the label.
Also tapped for this project was the set designer Isabel Legate, whose work Vestbo thinks has “a veneer of idealised beauty that relates to Bror August.” Creating “organic forms out of predominantly synthetic materials,” Legate appropriately sets the scene for the designer’s “positive outlook on the world” this season – “positivity as something only existing at a surface level,” that is.
“I was very into positive symbolism,” Vestbo says of the smiley face motifs and smiling models, like fellow designer Jenny Cheng. “I wanted to make clothing that would make the person who wears it look like they are open and approachable.” A noble effort in a world as warped by distrust as ours is now. What’s likely to be next from him then? “I’m going back to Europe for a while...and I’m also getting more interested in researching my childhood. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’m already starting to forget my childhood and how, someday, it will be completely lost.”