The Benjamins draw inspiration from Dubai for their Spring/Summer 2023 collection

Avant-garde streetwear brand Les Benjamins has unveiled its Spring/Summer 2023 collection, and cites Dubai as one of its sources of inspiration.

Called “The Horse of the East”, the collection is themed around horse racing, inspired by the emirate’s love of the sport. “When I lived in Dubai, I was in Business Bay, and my house was very close to Meydan, where all the big horse races take place,” said Bunyamin Aydin, creative director at Les Benjamins.

“My partner would always talk to me about her childhood and how she got inspired by dressing up for the horse races she attended and creating custom pieces for. It’s like a fashion show, everyone people dress up.

This love of dressing and the technical aspect of equestrian clothing has been blended into a range of clothing that is relaxed and comfortable, but crossed by complex techniques and ancient references.

Taking inspiration from the graphic pattern of silk tops worn by jockeys, Aydin created a tubular, rounded pattern, now used on a men’s bomber jacket and shorts, and a women’s midi skirt with a thigh split.

Elsewhere, the curved seams of jodhpurs appear as lines tracing long-sleeved tops and second-skin leggings, while riding chaps are mocked over trousers in a contrasting horse-patterned material.

The brand also reworks the intricate patterns of rugs and kilims in each of its collections. This is represented as panels on jackets and the sides of women’s flared pants. A standout look is a blue and orange fabric made into a men’s shirt, jacket and shorts, adorned with saddle-like flaps, held in place by functional studs.

Combining elements of the West and the East, Aydin uses the strict discipline of Western dressage in a fabulous crochet square, transformed into a breathtaking men’s shirt and a backless dress for women. Meanwhile, beloved horses are referenced as metal plates, horseshoes, and tassels that are added to the confection.

“That’s why I called the collection ‘The Horse of the East’,” Aydin said. “It’s a mysterious approach to who and what the horse is, and what it is about: horse racing and ceremony.”

Updated: June 21, 2022, 12:30 p.m.

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