2013 was certainly a momentous year for Berlin-based label Achtland. With the release of two acclaimed collections, Oliver Lühr and Thomas Bentz quickly became the designer poster children for the promise and potential of Berlin fashion. Their AW 14/15 presentation at Bärensaal was one of the most highly anticipated shows on the circuit this week. And for very good reasons.
The decisively feminine collection, with its floral motifs, meticulous embroidery and diaphanous grace created an astute counterbalance to the sobriety of clean cut woolen trousers and the modesty of button ups and striped sweaters. Ethereal beauty grounded in effortless prep-wear lured the press with its sensationalism and courted buyers with its wearability. A design collaboration with shoe retailer Unützer produced standout shoes tailored to each look, something that was visibly absent from other catwalk collections this past week.
The grandeur of embroidered leather flowers carefully stitched onto leather vests, shirts and dresses was simply heart stopping and demonstrated the very reason why the press is enamored with the the duo. Achtland’s formula is at its best when it’s extravagant, elaborate and exacting. The refinement of every visible stitch, the intricacies of the embroidery, the casual asymmetries, and the finespun femininity are elements which have set Achtland apart from its peers. Among the sea of subtle (albeit beautiful) minimalist creations pouring out from other Berlin collections on the runway, Achtland is perfecting something different. In short, the talent and product warrant the hype.