Last month, Berlin opened its arms to fashionistas afar, welcoming them back to the city for Berlin Fashion Week. As a publication that was established to celebrate and support young and independent designers; particularly from the German and Berlin fashion scenes, it comes as no surprise that we at Œ always have the graduate shows bookmarked.
This year’s Neo.Fashion. shows were held between the 6th and 8th of September at Alte Münze and Kraftwerk. Once covid passes and tests were checked, we were overjoyed to be huddled amongst one another; masks on of course, eager to see what Germany’s young fashion talent had to offer. After reflecting on the shows and familiarizing ourselves with the designers, we have made a hand-picked selection of our favourite collections.
AMD Akademie Mode & Design
As the winner of the Neo.Fashion. “Sustainability Award” this year, it would be ludicrous not to have Paul Kadjo in our list of designers to watch. His first collection “The Spirit Between Bodies And Objects defines the spirit between body and object, which burns to ensure the survival of its existence through the survival of fashion”. Drawing on his binational heritage, Kadjo nods towards contrasts and blends through his use of black and white as colours and also flowing and hard fabric cuts. All items in his collection are, of course, upcycled.
Another graduate from AMD that caught our attention was Pia-Maria Leberfinger. Leberfinger’s brand SKRĒN prides itself on being remaining “future proof”, which it maintains through drawing on Leberfinger’s use of 3D art and out of space designs. Her graduate collection EXO-2120 was both diverse and visually pleasing, which Leberfinger claims is due to her use of current 3D design software such as CLO 3D and DAZ3D. “The Exo-2120 collection, therefore, acts as speculation about our world in exactly 100 years. What does this future look like and how will this affect our understanding of fashion? The project does not want to be integrated into the scientific concepts of the future, but rather to be seen as an imaginative and innovative solution for our textile future”.
MARIE LUCIE KUEHL and MICHELE LEMPER
This graduate collection “STADT. LAND. FLUCHT.” was a collaborative project between Marie Lucie Kuehl and Michele Lemper. Kuehl covered the Textile Design side of things, whereas Lemper handled the product development and fashion design. With such bold prints and colours, it was difficult to take our eyes of this collection on the runway, especially coupled with the performative flowing fabric cuts. Some people love the hustle and bustle of big cities, but not for this pair. “The loud noise of the city lingers in my ears. The bright colours are burning in my eyes. I notice the dissatisfaction building up inside me and I try to escape the narrowness and hectic of the city”. The collection encapsulates the movement from city to countryside.
Taking inspiration from Barcelona’s iconic cathedral La Sagrada Família is Theresa Pahlenkemper’s graduate collection SUPERNOVA MOMENTS. Although Pahlenkemper may be currently working for Hugo Boss Menswear, this womenswear demi-couture runway collection pays homage to the female form, as can be seen from the breastplate and long, elegant cuts. The fabrics and textures have been carefully crafted and selected to recreate “the interplay of colours in the light of the Spanish Sagrada Família cathedral. Blinded by shimmering sunlight and fascinating light reflections, the cathedral is a fireworks display for the senses”. Pahlenkemper’s designs are typically more traditional, but this graduate collection was more visionary and what we hope to see coming through in her future collections.
All photos by Peter E. Reiche.