Each season, more and more labels are branching from the IMG/Mercedes-Benz fashion tent, scouting unique off-site venues to present their latest collection. Julian Zigerli presented his collection at Delphi Stummfilmkino (a former silent film theater in Prenzlauer Berg), Juliaandben opened the doors of the the former Karl Marx bookstore, and Achtland invited us into the palatial halls of Bärensaal. Last Wednesday, Berlin designer Esther Perbandt took over the famed Volksbühne theater filling every seat in the house to celebrate her namesake label’s 10 year anniversary and to present her AW 14/15 collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
In a city where labels come and go, bellying up after several seasons, Perbandt’s 10 year milestone is an impressive achievement. Her success is attributed not only to her talent, but also a keen ability to stay true to herself as a designer and to effectively evolve her edgy/andro creations each season to excite the press and loyal clientele–among them, iconic model Veruschka, who sat in the audience at Volksbühne last week to celebrate the label’s anniversary.
With the audience hushed, the presentation began with a modern dance piece set against the spare humming and buzzing of a choir dressed in black and adorned with Esther Perbandt style wigs. The silence broke into thundering applause and cheers as soon as the first look was sent down the stage. Minimal and asymmetrical tailored looks –comparable to those of the greats who have paved this aesthetic path in fashion–built an edgy sophistication and nonchalant cool around the label’s best collection yet. Slouchy trousers, androgynous suits, and deconstructed details framed the basic tenets of this season’s looks. Its aesthetic relevance, sets the collection atop current retail pulse and is certain to shore in new buyers and draw public attention, especially after the sensational presentation that gathered press, icons, buyers, and the public in one place. With ten years of design and production experience under her belt, Perbandt’s collection and presentation gleamed with the confidence and mastership of a seasoned designer, which is a rare feat in this city and industry.