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All photos by Wednesday Aja

Thomas Engel Hart SS '11

The former Thierry Mugler designer showed his 'Constructive restraint' collection at Berlin Fashion Week which included both menswear and women's fashion

Dandyism and punk references made yet another reappearance on the catwalk of former Thierry Mugler Homme designer Thomas Engel Hart. Presenting his Spring Summer 2011 collection in the light of Berlin Fashion Week, it almost seemed as if Engel Hart designed having his German host in mind. Last season’s denim, zippers and safety pins made a no-show, and instead he mixed clean-cuts and mutated military shapes with structured cottons, shiny leather and treated linen: his way of closing the gap between tradition and rebellion.

The title 'Constructive restraint' was translated in cut-out sleeveless jackets, paired with straight silhouettes. A colour code of mainly black and white was what seemed to be the logic choice, but then we got heavily printed shirts, blazers and shorts, which added a sense of humour to the mix. The real suprise was when girls started coming out on to the catwalk since womenswear is a field Engel Hart has never explored before. The fact that the Engel Hart girl is not be wearing frills and St Tropez dresses didn't come as a shock to anyone. By repeating the cut-out details we had earlier seen on the boys - combined with classically tailored shirts, toughened up by over sized leather waistcoats - a distinct androgynous feeling was conveyed.

Dazed Digital: Is this your first time in Berlin?
Thomas Engel Hart: It is my first time showing in Berlin, but I have been here before. I love it.
Berlin has its ugly parts and politically went through some rough times but there is so much happening now ... It is so multicultural. I have got really good friends here and actually had my logo redesigned in Berlin two years sort of felt like a nice end of the circle to show here too.

DD: What was your inspiration for this collection?
Thomas Engel Hart: I wanted to do a military theme but in a non agressive sort of happy way. Something really clean,new and beautiful.

DD: How come you decided to experiment with womenswear?
Thomas Engel Hart: I recently had a lot of women in my life. They started trying on pieces from my menswear collections  and I loved it. I love when girls put on mens clothes but as a tailor I was more drawn into the details of womens’ shapes. I also wanted to take a risk. I have been doing menswear for a long time now and feel confident about it but womenswear is so differnt. You can just fall on your ass and make a fool of yourself and that’s fun.

Something you gonna keep on doing?
Thomas Engel Hart: Let’s see. We sort of opened the can of worms now. I would like to keep it in the mix  but build it up slowly. We only started with a few looks this season. I had my own collection for three years, being at Mugler after and then restarting again with my own brand i think it is a lot of information for people which is sometimes hard to put together.

DD: How would you describe the “Engelhart boy/girl“?
Thomas Engel Hart: I design for people with a strong sense of personal style. It is about who they are.It is not for fashion victims I want people to see my clothes and make them their own... boys and girls sharing the same idea.