A forever favourite in our Berlin Fashion Week calendar is the Neo.Fashion. show, which acts as the largest platform for showcasing young fashion talent in Germany. For the sixth edition, 6,000 visitors were invited to the industrial, brick-clad Reinbeckhallen in Oberschöneweide to watch fifteen fashion shows from the 6th to the 8th of September.
What set this year’s show apart from previous ones was the celebration of international fashion talent. On the 6th of September, Neo.Fashion.22 kicked off with a show that represented five designers from Ethiopia – this was organised in cooperation with the “Next Fashion Design College” from Adis Abeba and Fashion Africa 254. Similarly, on the 8th September, six Ukrainian designers from the Ukrainian Fashion Week were welcomed to present their collections as part of the “Look into the future” project at Neo.Fashion. The decision to extend the talent beyond the German scope was particularly well received.
Besides the general graduate shows, there were also three award shows covering the following categories: Best Design, Best Sustainability Concept, and Best Craftmanship. The likes of Florian Müller, Carina Bischof, Timo Wolf, Sebastian Warschow, Neslihan Degerli, Claudia Hofmann, and Leyla Piedayesh were members of the jury. The Best Design award was granted to Hamburg University of Applied Sciences graduate Max Tautorus for their collection ‘Kinship’. Nanyi Li of the University of Art and Design took the crown for the Best Sustainability Concept for their collection ‘Blumen im Nebel’. And finally, Antonia Dannenberg from Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences, was awarded Best Innovation for ‘Melt Down’.
Out of this rich pool of talent, we have made a selection of our top six designers to watch. Here’s Part 1.
Rue des Archives articulates a unisex streetwear collection that couples masculine cuts with what would be considered typically feminine finishes – proving that fashion is nonbinary. By recontextualising the past and inspiring the future, it presents an independent attitude and contemporary fashion that provides answers for tomorrow. The sportswear is fused with romantic floral prints that anyone could throw on and easily ooze style. The focus of this collection is on innovative working techniques, surface manipulations, print developments, unique details and high-quality finishes. Oh, and red roses as a finishing touch – how romantique!
“My enthusiasm for fashion began as a child. I chose my clothes separately according to colours, patterns and shapes. I quickly realised I had a talent for it and was sure I wanted to shape my future with it in order to fulfil my creativity. Through my fashion design studies, I was able to immerse myself in the world of fashion and pursue my passion,” says Melina.
AMD Akademie Mode & Design
Hiraeth explores the polarities of nostalgia and its influence on today’s society – it’s a visual representation of the feelings we experience when we are stuck between old memories and transitioning into new beginnings. Ultimately, it urges us to question: “Why is the past taken as a basis to judge people, even though we all know that the past is intangible?” Liv-Pauliana believes that we are too attached to our biases to answer those questions properly and so we must remember to reinvent ourselves daily and reset our mindsets in order to make a difference. The bold prints, patterns and colours paired with the irregular cuts are symbolic of this back and forth between the need the change and the struggle of letting go of the past.
“My studies at the AMD enabled me to build up a passion and fascination that started very small with my grandmother. The realisation of ideas and thoughts through my own creativity with the help of unusual fabrics, surfaces and silhouettes”, says Liv-Pauliana. “The close collaboration with various cooperation partners such as Ludwig Beck or Liberty of London gave me insights into companies but also into later professional life. Also during my internship at a couture label in Amsterdam, I learned the best workmanship and tailoring, which I took with me into my collections.”
Hochschule für Künste Bremen
Previous FASH 2017 winner Livia Honus revives the seventies with her roller-themed collection: Concrete Disco. She unpicks both disco culture as a sociological phenomenon and Brutalism as a style of architecture – playing upon their similarities and differences, which are bundled in a hedonistic longing for glamour, excess, and also decay. What sets Livia apart is her ability to create and pair a variety of different materials from knitwear to glitter all into one collection – always paying attention to detailing and accessories. P.S. We love the roller bags!
“For me, fashion is a complete artwork made up of patterns, material and structure which only comes to life through the wearer’s movement. It is a way to visualise and communicate feelings and ideas. This power of fashion fuels my design process”, says Livia. “In addition, as a trained tailor and pattern maker, I highly appreciate craftsmanship and quality which always inspires me in my work. During my art and design studies, I was able to complement and develop my craftsmanship with digital techniques.”
All photos by Gerome Defrance.