18 posts tagged "Berlin Fashion Week"
Following a week full of commercially friendly garments from brands like Laurèl, Schumacher, and Frida Weyer, Berlin fashion week ended with surreal theatrics by Johny Dar. These extremes—viable basics and wild provocations—exemplified the separate poles seen on Berlin’s catwalks.
The captivating creatures (pictured, above) who opened Dar’s “Dare” show were covered in graphic body paint reminiscent of Keith Haring’s manic designs. The models’ faces were covered by cascades of synthetic hair descending from dome-shaped, oversize heads. The clothes that came after were equally bizarre. There were papier-mâché prosthetic torsos, caftans covered in skulls and abstract snakes, and net dresses that would be well-suited for an alien princess from Star Trek‘s first generation.
Before Dar, Irene Luft offered an elegant compromise between wearable offerings and garments appropriate only for Berlin’s eternal club cultures. Her dresses in black or white were thin as petals and transparent, yet their genteel cuts remained ladylike (pictured, left). An elaborate white tutu, topped with a bodice of loosely knit gold thread, would have worked for Vaslav Nijinsky’s early ballets. Will she open next season in the same spirit?
After seven years, Berlin Fashion Week is solidly in its sophomore phase. The surge of energy that initially propelled it has waned, with major regional fashion houses such as Joop!, Hugo Boss and Rena Lange bowing out, while internationally renowned German designers like Jil Sander and Kostas Murkudis never participated. Yet optimism unites the fifty-one designers currently presenting collections on the Mercedes Benz catwalk. Bright, clear, confident yellow – the color of sunshine and high hopes – has beamed onto most catwalks during BFW’s past three days.
Vladimir Karaleev, an insiders’ favorite for his roughly finished and sculptural creations, showed a coat made from an unhemmed sunny jacquard silk which could have upholstered a chair in Louis XIV’s living quarters. Models sported fist-sized Marigold corsages over denim and cocktail attire at Marc Cain. Laurèl launched its show with a jumpsuit, shift, skirt and trousers in the same yellow and white lacework print. Young designer Rebekka Ruétz, a beacon for the Berlin fashion scene, presented variations of a tangy tie-dye print in belted blazers, leggings, jumpsuits and skirts under white chiffon veils. And Rike Feurstein suited a model in genteel high-waisted lemony trousers with a matching net breastplate and shoulder-pads the size of hats. Surreal or pragmatic, yellow was the tone of optimism for Berlin’s stalwart designers.
Modesty was the dominant theme during the second day of Berlin fashion week—not on the catwalks but in conversation. Throughout the tent and on the street, Germans were expressing self-deprecating sympathy for the Brazilians, especially the football players’ families, who were undoubtedly having a pretty awful day after Germany won the World Cup match by six goals. At BFW, in typical Berliner style, however, a modest worldview was counterbalanced by lots of unashamed displays of skin. Marcel Ostertag showed models in sheer polka-dot blouses and summoned the spirits of sexy sixties artists Niki de Saint Phalle and Tom Wesselmann with trompe l’oeil dresses, jumpers, and jackets whose neon ovals outlined models’ breasts. For her Lala Berlin label, designer Leyla Piedayesh paired loose and comfy yummy mummy silhouettes with completely transparent silver mesh and peach silk tops. The classically conservative Frida Weyer brand offered cutout sections on pastel party dresses that exposed midriffs and obliques. Even the beautifully crisp, chic, understated Clemens en August label presented, alongside slinky jumpsuits and boyish suits, a pair of black tap pants under a translucent black dress with a pinstriped collar. Coupled with World Cup empathy, all these see-through tops exposed humble hearts of Berlin.
The schedule for Berlin fashion week Spring/Summer 2015 may lack extravaganzas like the stadium-sized picnic and all-night party that Boss Orange hosted for Spring 2010, but a number of smaller, local designers are stepping into the breach.
Instead of occupying the historic but cramped Brandenburg Gate and Bebelplatz sites, which World Cup festivities have taken over just now, Berlin fashion week resides happily in the Erika-Hess-Eisstadion. This vast, open-air ice rink from the sixties has been converted into a breezy main tent. The local German designers, such as Lena Hoschek and Michael Sontag, as well as visitors from emerging fashion cities including a showcase of African designers, presented sensible but still compelling collections.
The evident outliner was Kilian Kerner (pictured, left), a designer who grew up with Berlin fashion week itself. This is Kerner’s tenth BFW season, and he has ripened into a designer whose garments gracefully fill the space left by labels like Boss. Kerner always cites music and club culture as his muse. In his early days, he reveled in silver PVC jeans, slinky Lurex dresses, and shimmering striped zoot suits.
Kerner’s chic Spring 2015 collection is too pretty, light, and precious to hide in a dark club. For women, he assembled floating fabrics in sorbet shades, with a subtle seventies-inspired silhouette, clusters of gold beading, and light layers of quilted silk. His men paid explicit homage to his origins by wearing shirts, briefs, and a full suit made from a print featuring a stained-glass window with Rihanna, Bowie, and Justin Bieber enshrined as saints. With Kerner’s new relaxed cuts and premium fabrics, these pieces were a solid start to a more grown-up Berlin fashion week.
As a writer, it was nice to see that the leading Fall ’14 trends during Berlin fashion week were homages to old-fashioned printed words and images. Almost every main show included black-and-white outfits with patterned sections containing actual lettering or imagery that could have been lifted from a newspaper page. Lala Berlin combined panels of pretty white silk and black lace, and pinned signs expounding the virtues of being wild but nice on the backs of its casually structured blazers and flowing coats. Marc Cain adorned a pencil skirt with a vintage New York Times photo of the Williamsburg Bridge. Hien Le, meanwhile, sent out black-and-white egg-shaped wool dresses, knee-length skirts, and boxy blazers for her, and matching sweaters that resembled an illustrator’s charcoal shading paper for him. [ep_anouí] by Eva Poleschinski presented white leather tulip skirts paired with chiffon blouses covered in cursive black scrawl (including a coded charcoal love note to Cy Twombly). Vladimir Karaleev’s graceful, oragami-esque folds of cream-colored felt and silk could have been a frustrated writer’s crumpled blank page. As for the reportage that writers would broadcast about fabric, the big buzz was the appearance of Elizabeth Hurley wearing—hold the presses—black leather leggings and a white top with Morse code-like dots.
For a behind-the-scenes look at Berlin Fashion Week’s street style, parties, and beyond, click through our slideshow.