Les Benjamins draws inspiration from Dubai for its spring/summer 2023 collection

A mix of Bedouin, dressage and even jodhpurs feature in the new arrivals

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Edgy streetwear brand Les Benjamins has unveiled its spring/summer 2023 collection, and cites Dubai as part of its inspiration.

Called "The Horse of the East", the collection is themed on horse racing, prompted by the emirate's love for the sport. “When I was living in Dubai, I was in Business Bay, and my house was really close to Meydan, where all the big horse races take place," said Bunyamin Aydin, creative director at Les Benjamins.

“My partner would always tell me about her childhood, and how she was inspired by dressing up for the horse races she would attend, and create custom pieces for. It’s just like a fashion show, everyone dresses up.”

A halter dress made from square crochet for spring/summer 2023. Photo: Les Benjamins

This love of dressing up and the technical aspect of equestrian wear has been mixed into an array of clothes that are laid-back and comfortable, yet run through with complex techniques and ancient references.

Leaning into the graphic patterning of the silk tops worn by jockeys, Aydin has created a tubular, rounded motif, now used on a man’s bomber jacket and shorts, and a woman's mid-length skirt split at the thigh.

Elsewhere, the curved seams of jodhpurs appear as lines tracing across second-skin long sleeve tops and leggings, while riding chaps are mocked up on to trousers in contrasting, horse-patterned material.

The brand also reworks the intricate patterns of carpets and kilims into each of its collections. This is shown as panels on jackets and the sides of women's flared trousers. A standout look is a blue and orange fabric made into a man's shirt, jacket and shorts, adorned with saddle-shaped flaps, held in place with functional studs.

Drawing together elements from the West and East, Aydin uses the strict discipline of western dressage into a fabulous square crochet, made into a knockout man's shirt, and a women's halterneck dress. Meanwhile, beloved horses are referenced as metal plates, horseshoes and tassels that are added to the tailoring.

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

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Updated: June 21, 2022, 12:30 PM