3 posts tagged "Michael Michalsky"
The stylist Julia Freitag—a veteran of Germany’s short-lived Vanity Fair and a contributor to German Vogue—runs Styleproofed.com, where she tests and reviews appealing products. For Berlin fashion week, she called upon some famous friends—like Wolfgang Joop, Dirk Schönberger, and Michael Michalsky—for their own favorite products and items. The result, the mini-exhibition Objects of Desire From Ten Fashion Designers, is on view in the gallery space of Berlin Weekly, where it’ll remain for another week after fashion week wraps. (It’s also online at www.berlin-weekly.com.)
Their picks range from the spartan to the luxurious. Joop—not usually renowned for austerity—selected a pair of organic black socks from his own label. Schönberger spotlighted his favorite KingSize tumbler glasses (above)—design objects compelling enough that he changed his signature drink from straight vodka to vodka tonics to give himself an occasion for them. Michalsky offered his giant Birkin bag (not usually a men’s item, but when filled, heavy enough that it might take a man to lift it; top). And the former Helmut Lang designer Kostas Murkudis used the opportunity for a little wishful shopping. He picked a black and red “Motorradhelm von Aspesi” moto helmet. He doesn’t own a Vespa—yet.
On some of the stages at Berlin fashion week, the mood was a little…matronly. German fashion has the reputation for being stringent, but the many shows this season just felt conservative, or too kooky, and in need of a little juice. Luckily, a few designers provided for a much-needed jolt of energy. Michael Sontag’s artfully tailored collection was ageless and elegant. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, Michael Michalsky’s supremely showy show was extravagant. He called the collection “Heinrich Zille’s ‘Mein Milljöh’—Version 2.0,” inspired by the iconic caricaturist’s turn-of-the-century cartoons of class struggle; the clothes may have paid tribute to the struggle, but the opulent party afterward was all ruling-class. (That’s Michalsky, pictured left.) A crowd of 2,000 guests, including the ones from the night’s preceding Lala Berlin and Kaviar Gauche shows, grooved to the cult eighties band Spandau Ballet and DJ Hell. The result was pure Broadway. Michalsky’s tuxes (for men and women) and disco-silver jumpsuits didn’t exactly scream Zille, but why be a stickler? No one was matronly here, thank you very much, and all hand-wringing about the economy was, for a night, put to rest.
Michael Michalsky’s shows have little to do with actual clothes. Instead, his fashion week presentation is intended to remind Berlin what Fashion with a dramatic capital “F” looks like. And the glitz, attitude, frenetic energy, and hyper-drive sexuality at a Michalsky show inevitably spills over into his extravagant after-parties. This season, the designer staged his event in the active yet dilapidated church on Zionskirchplatz. After removing the crucifixes, Michalsky sent well-known models down the catwalk in flowing Versace-esque dresses with stained-glass-window patterns; outfitted as old-school prostitutes (think Sophia Loren playing the hooker-with-heart-of-gold); or with black lace covering a swinging ponytail like a grieving yet hip Italian widow. At the after-party in an abandoned swimming pool turned decadent nightclub, bartenders wore priest collars, nun’s habits, or Wild West madam costumes to serve plentiful booze. The level of risqué irreverence was just tawdry enough to give everyone a jolt of Michalsky’s vibe as Berlin’s beloved bad boy. And while it didn’t go much further than any other themed party on a wild night in this city, after watching designers strive to find a voice in the rough local market, we can be grateful to Michalsky for at least making it fun.