Sadak’s runway show during day two was one of our long-awaited shows for this fashion week, and we can’t say we were disappointed. Let’s start with the models. The genius behind the eclecticism of models gave us a range of unique faces and body shapes. From albino models to fully tattooed ones to long hair and dreadlocks, many strong personalities were represented (models included rising star Shaun Ross and dancer Kirikoo Des).
In terms of garments, we can always talk about Saša Kovačević’s Serbian background and its influence on the cut and silhouettes of his streetwear driven collections, but we’d much rather focus on the prints. Season after season, the designer’s collections have been print heavy with SS16 following in the same vein. The prints were tumblr inspired with 3D shapes, geometrical landscapes and a hint of ironic typography that read “error” or “You + Me = <3
Playing with symbols, the collection was centered on what the designer would define as “post-modern islamic culture” as he revisited the niqab. The controversial apparel typically worn by women took another controversial turn as it came to runway life in bright pink and blue tones worn by male models. Never one to shy away from provocation, one thing was clear by the end of the show, Saša Kovačević is one of those rare breed of designers whose got the talent to match those bold ideas.
The other big menswear name of the day was Julian Zigerli. The location of Zigerli’s show was only announced earlier that morning. Audience members were alerted via text that they should arrive at a hidden park in Mitte across from the main station at 8pm for the event. After being inside for the great majority of the Berlin fashion week shows, sitting in that park was a welcomed necessity: no more seating mishaps and (thank goodness) fresh air.
Shortly at 8:30 and in a calm atmosphere, a model quietly appeared from behind a tree walking past the rows of onlookers. It took awhile for everyone to understand the show had just begun.
Cute, cute and cute. Having been inspired by the Kawaii culture on a recent trip to Japan, it seemed the designer had packed all that sweetness into his suitcase and turned it into high fashion men’s wear. The collection was comprised of precious sketches, child-like watercolor paintings, leather pouches stamped with smiley faces and heart shaped sunglasses.
One after one, they walked past us, carrying their own portable speakers walking to the beats of their own chosen track. At the end, the boys gathered like statues in the far corner of the park. As the last model joined the group, the audience started cheering and after a few moments of hesitation, everyone ran towards them, like zombies in search for young and pure blood.
Hien Le’s show today confirmed suspicions that have been brewing since Tuesday’s SOPOPULAR and Vektor shows… Ladies, the boys are coming to clean out our closets. Menswear is becoming increasingly dominated and influenced by traditionally feminine qualities i.e. color, fabric choice and fine detailing, while much of the tailoring does remain distinctly masculine. On Wednesday, Le showed Cuban style linen shirts in sheer nip-slip inducing fabrics. Not your father’s Cubano… There were also tiny tennis racket polka dots, capris and silky lime green two pieces. This combined with the flapper-esque vests at SOPOPULAR and full on mini dresses at Vektor leaves me wondering: can’t us girls just have one thing that’s ours? But I guess when the guys look so cool we should all be asking: does it really matter?
There were also slinky trousers and bomber jackets in Kelly green and apricot for both men and women. Le’s inspiration for the collection (California tennis outfits from the 60’s) was evident in his tailoring and color palette: shirts were pressed and given an subtle normcore nod: large pockets. Many shirts were double layered; tennis dresses were short, collared and silky.
The highlight for me was Le’s trousers, which were a really perfect modern interpretation of the tailored but breezy clothing he so admired. – Text and backstage photos by Chelsea Allen –
Franziska Michael’s show on Wednesday opened with what I can only describe as a fashion ghost. A male model wearing a tiny pair of underwear and a clear plastic raincoat emblazoned with glow-in-the-dark holograms of Michael’s initials seemed to float across a black lit stage as the speakers boomed with a noises not unlike those of a haunted house. He was also wearing goggles on his head. After he did a round, the lights came up and a girl wearing high waist tobacco colored leather panties and a shaggy green, cropped turtleneck tank cut from fabric startlingly similar to the fabric of the “Wonderland Fuzzy Magic Stretch Scarf”. For those who don’t know, the Fuzzy Magic Scarf had a hot few minutes of fame in the U.S. about 8 years ago, making them a staple in the closets of cool 7th grade girls all over the country…. Needless to say, I never had one. Needless to say, it was surprising to see this fabric on a runway. On a side note, Martin Margiela showed a skirt in a slightly similar fabric this week in Paris.
The fuzzy magic was also used for fingerless gloves and a pair of pants. The silhouette was extreme: skin tight or cartoonishly baggy and the backpack, the hot accessory of 2015 and apparently 2016, made a major appearance built into the back of a denim and mesh-net vest. On Tuesday, Vektor also showed tops with built in backpacks. Michael’s oversized overalls, shown in that leather tobacco and denim were reminiscent of N’Sync album covers and the work wear of Berlin construction men. It would be easy to write off the designs as simply bizarre, impractical or even appropriative, which they are. A friend said the collection reminded her of the fashion show scene in David Byrne’s film “True Stories” where models walk down a runway in AstroTurf and lettuce. But I think there’s also something to be said for Michael’s commitment to her aesthetic and her development of a collection that has humor. I’m not sure the fashion world needs more fuzzy magic, but we certainly need more humor. – Text and photos by Chelsea Allen –
If Grace Kelly and Brigitte Bardot came of age in 2015 I believe they would wear Louise Friedlaender crop tops. Friedlaender’s girl is part Kelly, part Bardot and part California surfer babe circa 1966. Her take on fashion is serious and experimental. The clothes themselves were understated and simple but bold in their designs, many with complex asymmetrical cuts and exaggerated frayed hemlines. Trousers were classic and high waist but finished at the bottom with cutout suede shapes reminiscent of flames. Friedlaender’s collection was elegant, highly tailored and stylized but not glamorous. Her designs are rather serious and while at times sexy, like the skintight knit maxi dresses that would make Jane Birkin swoon, they are not cutesy or particularly playful, which is a good thing…
At Friedlaender’s show on Wednesday models walked noticeably slowly, almost as if they were stepping through sand, as a breathy cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Suzanne” played. Key colors were pale blue, cream, and oat, curry yellow and raspberry. Fabrics were gauzy, knitted and silky or stiff and starched like canvas or linen. Friedlander’s silhouette was a contemporary take on the quintessentially feminine: billowy high waist skirts and cape like coats that elongate the neck. Her clothes do their part to make women feel beautiful. – Text by Chelsea Allen –