14 posts tagged "Berlin Fashion Week"
At Berlin’s Fall ’12 fashion week, just wrapped in the German capital, the city’s status as a European art hub was front and center. It was no accident that the largest hometown brand, HUGO, chose the Old Masters’ Museum as the venue to host its star-studded runway show and party, inspired by “surreal nostalgia” and “theater,” and incorporating recent runway trends like Art Deco graphicism and bodycon cuts inspired by athletic wear. And heat was generated by the young design talents who the city has been incubating. On the less-established front, a handful of Berlin’s “ones to watch” ripened this season with strong shows demonstrating the maturity of their concepts and skills. The best collections embodied the gritty “considered chaos” aesthetic which artists Jonathan Messe, Zhivago Duncan (Michael Milchasky’s collaborator this season) and Kirstine Roepstorff have made into Berlin’s signature creative style.
Along with the sleek sexuality of artists’ favorite DSTM (Don’t Shoot the Messengers), Juliaandben are Berlin’s best bridge between fashion and art. Designer Ben Klunker owned a gallery before he decided to devote himself completely to his collaboration with Julia Heuse. Their tie-dyed pieces used the old bathtub-dyeing technique favored by hippies and adolescents to create a fresh form of city-chic: leggings and dresses that look grungy but are gracefully cut. You could see them slinking off the presentation stage into Berlin’s studios, cafés, openings, and gritty after-opening bars.
Equally expressive of Berlin’s art scene is Vladimir Karaleev’s polished collection of black and Yves Klein-blue draped dresses and coats, in layers of worsted wool, mohair, silk and cotton. The Bulgarian-born Berliner debuted in 2007 when his show culminated in a gown made of twenty interlocking T-shirt fabrics hand-stitched, braided and tied together. Since then, his hand-sewn, abstractly attached and intentionally ragged clothes have inspired appreciation for his aesthetic but not sufficient confidence in their craftsmanship. This time, his collection gracefully balanced reassuring core construction with de-constructed details, in which elegant subtle black leather, artfully interwoven blue mohair and yellows, oranges and tans highlighted well-assembled stitching.
There’s something to be said for the home-field advantage. When Hugo Boss-—based in Germany—elected to show its Hugo collection at Berlin fashion week, they went for broke, inviting 1,000 guests (including Hilary Swank, Eric Bana, and Ryan Kwanten) for a fashion show, dinner, and party at the Museum Island in the city’s center. Designer Eyan Allen looked back to the future for Spring. He called the collection Poetic Tailoring, but he seemed more to be channeling Star Trek with the sharp, clean lines, and stark palette of starship silver, glacial blue, white, and flame red. Silver lamé leggings and flowing dresses over second-skin white trousers gave a hint of the sixties.
Afterward, the catwalkers of today had no trouble imagining themselves in the goods. Georgia May Jagger, wearing a dress and lipstick in the same arresting red shown on the catwalk, cooed with Leah Woods over a sharp pantsuit worn by Jourdan Dunn. They both congratulated Allen on his bracing palette, too. A different opinion came from a model old enough to remember the sixties the first time around: Veruschka. “I love that Hugo’s clothes are wearable,” she said. “But I would rather wear the menswear, especially the apronlike coverall jackets, because I can’t see many men wearing them and someone should. I especially love how Hugo reduces it to one strong color, whether ice, silver or red. But really, I mostly wear what I bought 30 years ago. When something is strong, it stays worth keeping.” Or, you might say, reinterpreting.
In between the men’s shows and Couture (kicking off today), you could be forgiven for bypassing Bebelplatz. But Berlin fashion week, which ended yesterday, sent out several polished collections last week, and celebs like Tilda Swinton and Chloë Sevigny found time to touch down in the front rows.
For trend trackers, the seventies mood that prevailed for Spring may not be going anywhere soon: Rena Lange, Laurèl (above, right), Allude, and Schumacher worked a Me Decade vibe—think a long-locked and fresh-faced Meryl Streep as muse. For something a little more structured, Hugo by Hugo Boss turned out sleek, crisp daywear and cocktail looks in a palette of black, red, and white. (The elegant show at the Neue Nationalgalerie attracted the aforementioned celebs.) For Berlin’s rowdy nightlife scene, Kaviar Gauche’s PVC tees, paired with cream-colored silk trousers, could be a good bet; and Vladimir Karaleev’s sculptural wool pieces (above, left), inspired by repeated listenings to Nirvana’s Unplugged, have a grunge sensibility that feels as fresh now as it did the first time around.
Leyla Piedayesh’s sophisticated and sexy Lala Berlin collection (above) continues to be a Berlin highlight. Inspired by children’s arts and crafts, dresses, trousers, and full, boxy suits came printed in emerald, blue, and acid lemon, a pattern like marbled paper. The shimmery details on a tiny, slinky dress looked like glitter or sprinkles, but this was a grown-up collection.
Color psychology theorists tell us that orange signifies high energy. Fitting, then, that it’s been all over the Berlin catwalks—this season’s Berlin fashion week, kicked off by Calvin Klein yesterday, has got a renewed vigor. The local line Mongrels in Common mixed sherbet shades of orange with sky blue and navy. The luxe cashmere label Allure went for contrast, too, with vibrant orange panels sewn into deep-sea turquoise tap pants, sweater dresses, and cardigans. But the most arresting splash of vibrant orange came at Lala Berlin, where designer Leyla Piedayesh extended her signature keffiyeh scarf prints into sensual floating neon orange sheer kaftans and jumpsuits (pictured). (The palette was inspired, Piedayesh said, by a fantasy of Kurt Cobain in Africa—with the sandy orange, it looked sub-Saharan.) You might think that with Germany out of the World Cup, and the Dutch Orangemen in, the color would be verboten, but one prominent Teuton remained upbeat. As this reporter left the Lala Berlin show, Boris Becker—a front-row presence at Berlin fashion week—pointed to my radiation-orange vintage c.neeon tank and proclaimed, “Orange is good.” His glowing tan attested to it.