Frank Leder’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection “Colditz” continues his longtime penchant for infusing history with a twist of trend and irony along with a generous sprinkling of quirky humor. Named after the Colditz Castle in Germany, Leder’s collection reflects a day in the life of the expansive history of the fortress.
Originally built as part of a larger settlement, the castle became a lookout post for German Emperors in the Middle Ages. In 1504, it was unintentionally burnt down along with most of the surrounding town and reconstructed shortly thereafter. In more contemporary times it has been used as a workhouse to feed the poor as well as a POW camp for high-risk prisoners circa World War II.
Frank Leder is a proudly German-based brand which places special emphasis on tradition. In his latest lookbook, we are given the opportunity to see the designer’s take on history play out before our eyes — From tailored military-inspired duster coats and high-waisted trousers paired with smart officer caps, Leder’s collection puts a modern riff on the past. Also present are simple, intentionally rough-hewn sweaters and utilitarian jackets and pants, all in subtle shades of brown, gray, deep navy and hunter green.
It should also be noted that the lookbook seems to be establishing a narrative. The two featured models alternate between posing with pieces from the collection as if actually doing the manual labor to create the items, and posing wearing the finished products. It is perhaps an allusion to Colditz’s function as a POW camp, with the models playing both prisoner charged with completing menial tasks, and officer who in turn wears the clothing.
In later shots it can be seen that planks have been removed from the wooden floor and a pile of dirt rests in the corner. In typical Leder humor, there seems to be a hint at a great escape.