DSTM – Don’t Shoot the Messengers
Although at first glance the AW20/21 collection by DSTM may have seemed simplistic, the ingenious idea to use ballerinas during the performance really brought the lingerie and bodywear to life. As the dancers gracefully unfolded their bodies across the catwalk, the details of each design were accentuated. From a traditional runway setting, the tassels, straps, cut-outs and gold ring detailing could have easily gone unnoticed. Instead, with each skillful move, each dancer unveiled another element to the garment, which in turn made the viewing experience very enjoyable.
The evolution of sombre piano into the melodic yet ambient electronic music also assisted in taking the audience on a journey. This was tastefully depictive of the emotive journey one may experience when wearing such lingerie or bodywear themselves, whether that be for performative or private reasons.
The ungendered nature of the collection was also representative of Berlin and the non-binary approach to fashion and sexuality, which floods the city. In this sense, it was easy to envision the designs being proudly paraded by all, not only in the bedroom but also in a performative or clubbing environment.
Although she was born in Tehran, Nobieh Talaei moved to Berlin as a child. The fusion of such life experiences remains focal in her artistic inspiration and expression. As the needle meets the thread, so do her memoirs including those of her nomadic grandmother and her background in traditional handcrafts. With this AW20/21 collection, we see how Nobi Talai offers a classic European approach, with garments based around the archetypal form and more earthy tones. Yet there are still strong accents of Persian influence, which are encapsulated in woven, printed and embroidered detailing on certain garments and accessories. Such a combination elevates the more classic looks and gives them character.
Berlin-based collective Last Heirs displayed a new side of themselves with their AW20/21 collection. Since 2017 they have accumulated a lot of popularity within the music industry, especially amongst rappers. Although streetwear still had a prominent place on their catwalk, this time around Last Heirs has focused more on a clean, tailored style than puffers and wet-look jackets. The spiritual artwork, which was printed on the silk shirts and hand-painted on some of the jackets amplified the collection. It added depth and personality to some of the more muted looks and brought a concept to the brand. That being said, there was still a strong amount of rawness to each design, which helped maintain Last Heirs’ rough edges. Those rough edges enable Last Heirs to hold down their position as a dominant streetwear label in Berlin.
All photos in this article by Shauna Summers.