"My name is on every garment, so I need to be in touch with it."
--- Frank Leder
When people today mourn the disappearance of clothing from the past, they usually mean that businessmen don't wear suits anymore, or professors don't wear tweed anymore, or opera-goers don't wear black tie anymore. Frank Leder looks back to a different kind of aesthetic. Though trained in London, Leder's background and source material are all German.
The historical Germans that interest Leder the most are not just the aristocrats, the class that defined menswear in Britain and therefore the world, but the whole entourage of German society, all the way down to the humblest workers. Each collection revives the costumes of some story from Germany's past - 2014's fall/winter collection narrated the history of Colditz Castle near Leipzig; Fall/winter 2015 tracks the production and use of coal in Germany - from the guy who produced the charcoal in the forest, to the guy who sold it in the city, to the chimney sweepers who cleaned it off bricks.
Frank Leder is as deeply rooted in the history of his country as any designer working today. His work reminds us that no story is ever truly lost.