Gabber with BAGGER
Last year CTRL+COPY graphic designer/creative mind Sven Mes made local headlines with his “Amberberes” sweatshirts. With a clear political statement (wondering why? Google is your friend), the sweaters popped up in several publications and on the torso's of many politically conscious fashionistas/fashionistos. With the Amberberes shirt successfully finding it's way through the crowded forest that is today's world of streetwear, a full range of Sven Mess designed clothing is quick to follow. 2016 marks the birth of BAGGER, a clothing line surprisingly inspired by the 90's gabber movement. Your This Is Antwerp reporter was invited to the official press launch last week and dutifully reports back to you...
A Raver's YEEZY
BAGGER : The Collection was presented at Sven's own eponymously titled bar. The man clearly has his fingers in many different pies, between his own silk screen printers office/workshop, a BAGGER bar and now a full-blown BAGGER collection. So what is this collection all about? “Gabber couture” reads the slogan in the lookbook. Actual couture it is not, Gabrielle Chanel and Oscar de la Renta would both die a second time if they were brought back to life to read this tagline, but it is a premium streetwear label. As suggested by others at the event, it is perhaps best described as “a raver's answer to Kanye West's YEEZY Season's.” Where the YEEZY collection focusses more on luxury textures and that already infamous monochrome shaggy meets the future vibe, this line of apparel seems focussed on recreating the past. Celebrating the original 90's gabber culture, the line consists of classic bomber jackets, camouflage tee's, blue sport shorts, high socks, boxing knuckles and a very orange three-hole balaclava.
To Bonzai or Not To Bonzai, That is the question
Truth be told, celebrating this 90's underground movement, originally hailing from The Netherlands before captivating Belgium, the UK and other parts of Europe, is hardly underground anymore. Somewhere around 2010 the gabber movement enticed a new audience: the Tumblr hipster. As a result, an entire new generation of gabber/rave inspired clothing labels were born and their e-commerce driven business roared. Of course, that didn't go unnoticed by the major players and that's how the 2012 Harmony Korine directed movie Spring Breakers popularized the fluorescent balaclava's for the mainstream audience. Slews of teenage girls immediately matched their new face accessory to their bikini's at actual spring breaks. Put anything on Selena Gomez and it won't stay underground for much longer. While the original gabber's style was something kind of subversive, that subversiveness died when it became popular on countless blogs. Tumblr has moved on since then and is now onto “minimalist vibes”, the “Y2K aesthetic” or just any aesthetic in general. So is BAGGER tardy for the party or trying to restore the original sentiment of the movement? Only time will tell as BAGGER is supposed to be a continuous line. If you're copping anything, let it be the classic black bomber with orange lining or the camo shirts, those are not leaving streetwear anytime soon. A very cool white bomber is rumored to appear in next season's collection by the way. Bonzai on gabbers, we're watching!
More B A G G E R ?
B A G G E R : The Collection is now available at baggercollection.be