Words by Bella Spratley
To RSVP for the launch event, find the link at the end of this article.
What better visual than a contemporary trace of WW1 poetry is there to express pain and empathy for the disastrous war in Ukraine? On a dark background, in a limited print run the fashion brand MISBHV responds with financial relief for children impacted by the war in Ukraine. First and foremost: direct aid, channelling 100% of the income from this collection to UNICEF is an important gesture of brotherhood and solidarity with our friends abroad. As an Eastern European brand born in the techno raves of Poland, MISBHV have been campaigning and donating since 24th February – the start of the war.
The designer Tomek Wirski shares about the collection today on Telekom Electronic Beats, modelled by Eyedigo, the genderless avatar by Trashymuse. International solidarity is palpable, hope will not fade.
This collection exists outside of trends. It’s a brave signal, whose threads weave a physical monument to remember those lost and keep those still here in mind. Garments are, after all, imbued with memories. Association explains how children bond with a special piece of material or toy – held in high regard even when its physical appearance frays. This tension in and love of the imperfect is clear to see in MISBHV x TEB’s collection of an artfully battered washed cap, an inside out thread t-shirt and a frayed, boxy hoodie.
Those imperfections rendered in a seamless digital world remind us that normality and freedom, even with their limits, are better than the alternative. Today with the collection release also marks the 20-year landmark anniversary of Telekom Electronic Beats and two decades of club culture.
The high fashion streetwear capsule pays homage to the roots of the brand and its friendship with the magazine. Whilst reference to the psychology of clothing is potentially unintentional, the garments have a lived-in and atemporal feel that is familiar at both the fashion house and this publication.
The collaboration speaks to a timeless connection across borders and people in Europe and the world. Each person will fill these garments with their bodies and their own personal thoughts on what it means to them. Without boundaries, set definitions (it’s unisex) nor one way to read it. Poetry and fashion are up to the spectator to understand. We are not going to tell you what to think. But what we think as collaborators is that this marks a poignant moment of solidarity. And we wear it on our sleeve, like our hearts.
Speaking to Tomek, he highlights the idea of “tension” as the word for this collection. Specifically, in Eastern European club culture. The garment’s typography “overlays, interplays and collides” spelling out the calligramme that accompanies Max Dutka’s, the Ukrainian photographer’s, portrait of a partier in Paris.
The sculpted poetry in an image that reflects the poem’s contents was brought to prominence by Apollinaire in 1912. This war poetry received early critique for frivolity and aestheticism, and later acclaim for his pioneering surrealist vision. Calligrammes are ideal for lowering attention spans and urgent communication, something we are familiar with in the digital world Eyedigo inhabits.
Meanwhile the history of Apollinaire, the Italian-Polish born poet’s French patriotism to defend their soil can be also compared to the poetics of this pro-Ukraine fashion collection by another Polish-born artist. Simply, we, regardless of nationality support Ukraine’s defence “brimming with possibility” like a difficult night that shares blankly out at the turbulent future.
MISBHV, like ‘Calligrammes’, finds light in the dark. Since glow in the dark paint features on the designs. Cocktails to be served at the launch party tonight at SuperConscience in Berlin will similarly glow in the dark like the bombs described by another poet over 100 years ago. Worlds away from the terror of war Eyedigo dances and rests in a darkened club environment that provides an escape from the daily news. Frivolity: no, coping: yes.
Join us for the release event on Thursday, May 12th at SUPERCONSCIOUS Berlin, on Torstraße 72 – with DJ sets by Tomek Wirski and Raven. On the occasion of the drop, King Kong Magazine will present their latest gaming issue. RSVP is required and space is limited.
Look 09 as worn by Eyedigo Muse:
MISBHV × Telekom Electronic Beats T-Shirt & Cap
Telekom Electronic Beats Skirt designed by TRASHYMUSE
Prosthetic athletic Heels Alien Weapon 1.0 both designed by Windowsen & digitally created by Polygon Couture
Product photography by Edward Greiner.