It Takes Two: Mert & Marcus for DSQUARED2

It Takes Two: Mert & Marcus for DSQUARED2

Photography duo Mert and Marcus look to their formative years in the ’90s for a limited-edition capsule collection with DSQUARED2.

Photography duo Mert and Marcus look to their formative years in the ’90s for a limited-edition capsule collection with DSQUARED2.

Photography: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggot

Styling: Semra Russell

Text: MATHIAS ROSENZWEIG

This feature appears in the pages of VMAN41, our Spring 2019 issue, on newsstands March 1st! Pre-order the issue here

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

The saying “A jack of all trades is a master of none,” despite its ubiquity, doesn’t quite hold up in the creative sphere. History supports that with the right amount of good taste and determina- tion, talent is transferable. Case in point: Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, who, since pioneering digital manipulation in the ’90s, have created some of the industry’s most beloved fashion photography: Kate Moss drawing her foot to her mouth to puff a cigarette cradled between her toes, or a ghostly Björk wading through a ooded house. Now, the pair is conquering fashion design, having released a capsule col- lection with Italian powerhouse DSQUARED2 called 1994.

LOUIS WEARS ALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES MERT & MARCUS 1994 X DSQUARED2

“It was the year we met,” Mert says of the col- lection’s name. It was also when DSQUARED2 founders Dean and Dan Caten began planning the launch of their brand, which re ected the fun-loving energy of the time. “At the same time, Mert adds, “it was the year of a lot of dressing up, a lot of partying, a lot of music, change of hair col- ors, and trying to express ourselves as differently as we could from everybody else,” Mert adds.

The ’90s-inspired designs—metallic silver pants and pink mesh tops reminiscent of tech- no’s heyday and sweatpants begging to be worn high-waisted and with a fanny pack—are ampli- ed by graphics drawn from early Mert & Marcus highlights. But 23 years later, the duo’s work is still controversial. During the 1994 preview in Milan last September, some sneered at a hoodie featuring two women kissing. “There is a certain punk in me and Marcus,” Mert admits.

LOUIS WEARS ALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES MERT & MARCUS 1994 X DSQUARED2

But don’t call the collection “nostalgic.” “Fashion is, in one way or another, a repeat of memories, stories, history, and so on,” Mert says. “Sometimes we salute those moments and sometimes we wish we never had them.”

Nor is the collection tied to a region, despite possible comparisons to the acid-house streetwear aesthetic emerging—or reemerg- ing—in places like Russia and Berlin. “Quite frankly, the [fashion] we are seeing in Russia and Berlin and so on are not too far off from what we were wearing in the ’90s,” says Mert. “They could be the same clothes, maybe with a different waistline or [paired with a different] accessory. Instead of branding the DNA of the collection with the ’90s, or Berlin or Russia, what we were trying to create is streetwear that has our point of view, what we like, and what we want people to wear.”

And who better to re-envision ’90s nostal- gia than Mert & Marcus? After all, for finding a fresh POV, two pairs of eyes are better than one.

LOUIS WEARS ALL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES MERT & MARCUS 1994 X DSQUARED2

Credits: MODEL LOUIS BAINES (KATE MOSS AGENCY) PRODUCTION DREAMER PRODUCTION

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VMAN Art: Jon Rafman