Last week’s atmosphere in Berlin was characterized by an all-embracing state of fashion — heels, glimmer, hashtags, hangers, maps, snacks, cocktails, layers, line-ups, seating, catwalks, sidewalks, spotlights, flashes, snow, suede, sleeves, frost, whispers, shuttles, showrooms, red, black, backstage, babble, bites, breaks, buzz, fashion people, lost people, Berlin people, afterparty, afterglow, big coats, big scarfs, traffic, action action applause! Beneath the fanfare of small talk and the countless in-between-show moments though, the 120-hour event included highlights of avant-guard tailoring and quite a few surprises that elevated the event’s quality above past standards.
The runways welcomed fashion week new comers as well as habitué designers. Steinrohner, whose collection was inspired by lichen structures and translated into pearl and fringe embroideries, stood out for its playful edgy tailoring. Hien Le revived old-school sportswear with pinstriped fabric, midi skirts, and wide cut chinos that resonated with urban effortlessness. Michael Sontag shared his latest fascination with ornaments and enhanced his interwoven confections with subtle organic florals. Sadak owned the runaway with a statement casting that featured extravagant types and Berlin personalities while visionary Esther Perbandt once again chose to engage the guzzling editor crowd by playing with age and androgyny and by putting a theatrical spin on her show, which for the second time now was held at the Volksbühne theatre.
On Tuesday evening, Odeeh gathered editors and bloggers at the charming Humboldt Forum of the Berliner Schloss to introduce its autumn-winter défilé collection. The show included models in eclectic three-piece suits, bon ton skirts, sequined dresses over white t-shirts, as well as sharp head-to-toe black styles (a first in the history of the otherwise blackless label). They emerged from behind the concrete architecture, spread out across the minimal setting, and coordinated their march in a graphic pattern. In the midst of jacquards, polka dots, and French bulldog prints Otto Drögsler’s and Jörg Ehrlich’s love for refined separates and accessories was confirmed once again while silky ties and foulards tangled in fine knots revealed themselves as the collection’s signature fixtures.
On Wednesday, Perret Schaad made the case for understated sophistication and cool itinerant women. With shades of blue and lilac mixed with earthy yellows, beiges and gold along with a subtle wink at Paul Klee’s tender geometries, Johanna Perret and Tutia Schaad seduced the female public! The architectural yet fluent silhouettes, fine-spun cashmere and Crêpe de Chine, cleverly paired with glossy velvet and iridescent fabrics made editors forget about the discouragements of winter styling (a great accomplishment given the unwelcoming Berlin temperatures).
Thursday, William Fan’s autumn/winter show—a surprise trip to Chinatown—won the public’s blessing with a colorful setting and lively narrative inspired by the noisy and vibrant neighborhood. Reminiscent of Chanel’s supermarket framework, the models action on the runway was preceded by routine everyday-life sequences, visible behind a sheer red curtain. A young man having lunch at the dumpling bar, a businesswoman picking up her laundry at the cleaner’s, someone else having a manicure and then shopping at the grocery market. The skit provided an entertaining preamble and was followed by a rhythmic succession of lavish dresses and jackets with oversized sleeves with slits. Overall, the confections were characterized by precious materials and a mixture of European and East Asian elements that lived up to the label’s tradition of fine craftsmanship. By envisioning his clothes in the multifarious urban jungle and tickling the viewers imagination, Fan’s presentation proved the importance of visual story telling within fashion and we hope fashion weeks to come will keep exploring undisclosed dimensions while shedding new light on more familiar ones.