LAZOSCHMIDL AND THE ULTIMATE INTER-GALACTIC SEXPLORATION words Luca Mitchell - backstage photography Victor Fandos - runway photography Alexandre Chagnon
Whilst some collections from Paris in the last few weeks have felt very much ‘at home’ - Jaquemus’ show having been inspired by his early life in the South of France, and Maison Margiela’s couture ensemble being shown in the fashion houses’ own studio - LAZOSCHMIDL took things off-planet completely. They took us to ‘Planet Sex’.
From the perspective of LAZOSCHMIDL’s founders, Joseph Lazo, and Andreas Schmidl, Paris was an entirely new landscape for them to paint their homoerotic vision upon. Stockholm Fashion Week was home to the label before hitting the Couture Capital, where Palm Springs settings and childhood flashbacks have been the vehicle with which the Swedish Innovation Prize winners have expressed their creativity.
Lazo and Schmidl’s past four collections became a staple of the Scandinavian scene for their daring and sensual nature: Fall 2017 witnessed tamed masculinity take the runway, achieved by lingerie style tops and intimately revealing bottoms that blended the male sex with feminine iconography. Challenging social norms and embracing sexuality have become mainstay themes for LAZOSCHMIDL’s designs; their following three collections became progressively more revealing, brief crazy (the latest collection is the second edition of their intimates underwear line) and relinquished gender binaries at every corner.
For PFWM the duo really went stellar with their inspiration, pulling together fashion and literature by referencing a fictitious sci-fi B-movie which follows a galactic sexploration. Even with all this action, the collection managed to remain well within the ongoing dialogue with sexuality and gender that has defined the brand since its conception in 2014. The detail of the deconstructed and feminized phallic with wings is particularly reminiscent of their Spring 2018 and 2019 collections, the former rocking an embroidered jumper reading “I love penis”, while the latter made models crotch regions both forbidden and a point to focus on by marking them with a cross - just one example of the sense of cohesion that exists from season to season at LAZOSCHMIDL.
Ultimately, Paris was a crescendo of Lazo and Schmidl’s trajectory toward a formidable and authentic brand identity. Fashion, art, and literature all collided to shock, stimulate and sedate. LAZOSCHMIDL wanted the voyeur of the exposed male bodies that took the runway to feel a sense of perplex euphoria. Mixed animal prints, bedazzling lurex, and of course, briefs - it was quite something. Visually and conceptually, each garment refuses to conform to that which is ‘normal’ and purveyed an innate sexual conscience, from exposed thighs to more subtle devices that divert the gaze to intimate and exposed areas of the body.
Mainly a made-to-order brand, LAZOSCHMIDL really are free to run wild. This Parisian debut was complex yet tasteful, satisfyingly pulling together the brand's various threads of tender masculinity, sexual expression, and gender-redefinition that have defined the collections for the past two years. Here, a new man walked the runway, one not shackled to gendered expectations nor afraid to self-express. Get ready to say goodbye to earth, because whether sci-fi expeditions are your thing or not, each look from ‘Constancio the 3rd’ to ‘Ruslan the fighter’ (yes, each look has its own unique name) will leave you wanting more of this erotic space-age fantasy.