How was it that you didn’t know that one of the trendiest, youngest, most up-coming cities in the world, had and celebrated, it’s own fashion week, and had been doing so for nineteen (19) years, although it really took off about nine (9) years ago! Making Berlin a global platform of both emerging and established labels, from around the world! In fact, Berlin is so attractive that trendhunters, the international press and media (like moi!), opinion leaders, and celebrities, are all over the place.
I once walked right past Rihanna whilst on the top floor of our only French Department Store – Lafayette – I didn’t know it was her as she’s really tiny, and it was only the amount of twittering and whispering around me, that made me look around only to discover it was the lovely lady herself. I’ve also stood right next to Keanu Reeves (during my party days. Ho! Ho!), very, very early in the morning, at an underground station. I thought it was weird that some guy was twirling around the station pole, with a huge man standing next to him, looking all stern! But you know, it’s Berlin.
Some random guy once brought a pony on the underground train, and nobody blinked. It’s not that weird lol!
I previously mentioned about fifteen (15) fashion institutions or designers that I thought were worth taking a look at. Here they are again:
The European Fashion Award FASH 2016 show
The Hungarian Embassy, Berlin and the Design Terminal Budapest
Thomas Hanisch is a 22 year old talented designer who has not ony designed his own watch, but also two outfits for the pop singer Lady Gaga, and an outfit for the British actress Tilda Swinton!
Thomas Hanisch is an avant-garde couture label that combines art and fashion to get “wearable art.” Inspiration comes from past events, which he combines with futuristic scenarios.
The collection had black silk with Spanish influenced eyebrows, strong make up and red eyeshadow and lipstick. Hair had a 1940’s/1950’s look! Materials were black and red leather, black and white striped dresses, floral chiffon open V-necked dresses, shiny black and white checked designed fronts. Flared trouser jump suits, thin red belts, fur, and over-sized round sunglasses. Burnt orange and brown chiffon tops, cream skirts, black suede high-heeled shoes.
Lacquer S&M-like black leather tops and gloves.
A very strong black and white theme inspired by Cruella de Vil!
Tomcsanyi is a contemporary womanswear label based in Budapest.
Growing up in post-socialist Hungary, the founder and designer – Dori Tomcsanyi – draws from her childhood memories of happy days in the former Eastern Bloc!
The collection is inspired by working – class marches on labour Day in the 80’s. Today’s strong and self-confident woman is key, with laid-back styles with an edgy twist and simplicity and yet, with a minimalistic elegant style.
As I was seated on the front row. (yay!), I was able to observe the grey cream overcoat, with huge red poppy pink colour scheme. Silk and coppery glittery outfits, long silk shirts, jackets and shorts. 3/4 trousers, denim material, off-the-shoulder orange chiffon dresses with strong belts and buckles on the side, or made from dressy material. Strong bloc cubism patterned dresses, and dresses with motifs of hands! Silver and golden block-heeled sandals and shoes, flat gold and black street shoes or espadrilles.
Colours were pale orange / pink, red, blue, orange, green / blue azure, black and white. Long wavy hair. Star motif on faces.
SAMPLE – CM
Sample – cm is the brain-child of french designer Margot Charbonnier. Nourished with London and Parisian influences, her label endorses a fine vision within the independent design label spirit of Berlin!
Her designs aims to ensure high quality hand-made pieces, mixing fashion and art to challenge, and re-think functional clothing. This project of collections – grand bassin. (don’t think before you leap) – is characterized by refined, comfortable and intelligent design, using sportswear to combine watery surfaces, racerback cuts, and clothes that shift, hold, or are merged together.
We were given a bag of goodies and a drink and then taken down into the basement where wooden benches were put aside. I had been there before on a Travel Massive event so I wasn’t too surprised, but my fellow fashion person was distressed. He didn’t find the seating arrangement very much to his liking. At all!
The collection was a combination of pale blue long dresses in a sort of sport muscle-shirt style, with huge pockets on the arms. Some materials were made from wool or terry cloth and had a sort of purse attached to it (very useful)! The garments come with straps and instructions, giving the opportunity to adjust, loose, action or transform the piece.
The models also wore pale bodies with wide cream trousers. Colours were pale green, cream, black, with red shoes or white sport swimming footwear.
I attended the ACHT Graduate Show & Exhibition in which under the “invitation only” show performance, eight graduates of the Integrated Design Program, exhibited their conceptual Master Theses in Menswear, Womenswear, Accessories and Artwork, during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
Eight projects. Eight concepts. Eight positions. One exhibition. One show.
All projects seemed to create a very intense statement of style.
One project had young men in various poses wearing olive-coloured t-shirts, black shorts, green and yellow socks, and pale-green shoes. Hair was all slicked down reminding me of a sort of 1950’s American preppy look! A very clean, classical frugal look with the male models changing position at various times and dressed, as if in a school gym!
One project had red-hair models contrasting under copper sheaths so that they were quite camouflaged. Thankfully, they were wearing black clothes with white socks, so that you could actually see them!
One project had hair like old Scottish tribal druids with one small pony tail!
One project had clothes with lots of thread woven around the eyes and face and the models wore pink and textile accessories, with black grey socks, woven threads and rubber-tipped fingers!
One project had the models wearing over-huge glasses and over-huge lips with a huge wide smile, and all teeth! They wore woollen clothing and a sort of workers-style feet and shoes.
Another project had a set of female models with brutally cut brown hair, and brown, purple, and dark blue clothing of felt fabric. Models also wore bright pink eye-shadow.
One project had a set of male models with very classical English looks who wore huge jackets, trousers and belts, with natural fibre. They reminded me of an English rugby game, but with a more slimline look! Shoes and flip-flops were made from natural fibre wool and leather too. Very like a rug!
The last project was local indigenous material inspired by native indians in South America (I’m guessing).
Her inspiration comes from contemporary vanguardism, the internet, the young and the forbidden. Her designs are a reflection on the development of her own textile prints, with a strong digital effect.
Making particular use of colours and fabrics, her designs reflect a new reality, a playful message within a unisex silhouette, making her designs both innocent, as well as provocative!
Fashion Week can be awfully exhausting but since this show was at the STAGE me Collectors Room in gentrified Mitte, I could actually take a 20 minute tram ride and nip back home again!
So I did!
I wore a more evening-like dress as I had a few after-parties to go later in the day, and actually ended up sitting right next to Vanessa Krongold’s mother and brother!
And they were so excited for Vanessa too.
The designs were see-through net jackets, 3/4 pedal pushers and colourful striped pastel prints. The male and female models wore slim-line summer-like print motifs dresses (girls), and sporty net tops (boys).Very sparkly skirts and huge ghetto-fabulous earrings, American style Adidas trainers for the boys and black socks, and huge American base-ball-like colourful hats. I really liked the footwear as there were wonderful metallic-looking boots. I like boots!
Lots of crinkle-like material, and a modernized version of sleek hippy-looking boys and girls, both with plaits in their colourful hair, and piercings. Colours were electric lime green, metallic purple, pale copper, black, and metallic leather white. In fact, faces wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Northern region of Winterfell in Game of Thrones!
I quite liked it!
NATHINI VAN DER MEER
Nathini van der Meer is a Berlin-based director and designer who works in both the fashion and film industry, which also manifests in her multimedia approach to fashion presentation. Her collections are non-seasonal and defy the gender binary as traditional global fashion-rhythms slowly begin to deteriorate, while her videos channel and process, the observations and encounters made on the road.
The Last Frontier collection was almost forty (40) minutes late but made up for it in its Friends in Action fashion and video collection, which was an artistic video of the models getting into their clothes, and walking on rooftop buildings!
There were natural bark and wood shavings on the floor. You stood freely in the open-spaced room, and the models walked in between us, on the wooden platforms!
The clothes presented were black and white, dark black and olive-green. Trousers and shorts had stitched beading and the tassels were shoe lace straps, as part of the clothing design! Grey felt and lot of pastel cool coloured wool.
Models were a variety of skin colours, hair styles, ages and sex. Every model had their finger tips painted black, some had some sort of object in their hands, all had some sort of belt!
MAISONNOÉE is a Berlin-based high-quality prêt-à-porter fashion brand, founded by designer Sophie Böhmert.
The brand´s name MAISONNOÉE is a neologism largely meaning “house of peace/strength/ tranquility“ and describes the women who wears MAISONNOÉE as successful, intelligent, and cultured.
MAISONNOÉE is defined by its fusion of craftmanship and attention to detail, and works exclusively with high-quality materials that are designed in Berlin, made and processed in Europe, inspired by nature and architecture, found all over the world.
Lines are with tweed, linen, and the signature use of leather. There is a slender sleek look with black, cream, and mushroom brown! American pilot bomber jackets and black dresses. High heeled sandals and court shoes, sculptured cheekbones and long hair. Large floppy summer hats, and two little flower girls!
LANA MUELLER – Prêt-à-Porter
Since it’s founding in 2015, the LANA MUELLER label has specialized in creating extravagant and glamorous evening gowns. Underlining the femininity of any woman with a tantalizing and sensual combination of lace and silk. Lana Mueller’s goal is to accentuate her customers aplomb and grace, by innovative and skillful tailoring.
LANA MUELLER presented her second couture collection in her first fashion show, consisting of 22 stunning couture dresses with lots of lace and silk in muted colours. Immediately after the LANA MUELLER COUTURE fashion show, Lana Mueller opened her first showroom in Berlin where she works and creates her very own and special LANA MUELLER look.
Following the store opening, Lana Mueller created her first Pret – à – porter collection as well as a Casual meets Couture collection, in collaboration with the young label 2ALLY.ME from Berlin.
Sammler Berlin is an up-and-coming German label created by Rebecca Sammler, a trained furrier and leather manufacturer. All of her pieces are exceptional, but equipped with a certain understatement, as each of her seasonal collections are only produced in limited quantities, and hand-made in her Berlin based studio.
SAMMLER Berlin’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection Côte D’Azul is homage to the beauty and capricious nature of the sea, as well as the nostalgic flair and chic of the French Riviera in the 60’s!
Models wore jackets and skirts with silver glittery tops, silver thin straps or strapless. chiffon and pleated skirts and silk. Wide baggy trousers defining traditional material such as leather, luxury pleats and silk in combination with reflecting prints on aluminium sequined embroidery. One dress had a sort of long fishnet shawl! Colours were white, bubblegum pink, azure, electric blue, glittery cream, and sea-shell blue grey. Shoes were high-heeled sandals, some had cork soles or sea-shell-like shimmery material.
The fashion crowd was much younger than the norm, and the clothes were very glittery and bright.
CUSHNIE ET OCHS
Established in 2008 by Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs, CUSHNIE ET OCHS embodies a unique sensibility that seamlessly combines a bold sensuality, with a raw feminine attitude that is confidently understated, and luxuriously modern, such that their dresses have been seen on an array of women from Reese Witherspoon and Rihanna, to First Lady Michelle Obama.
The designers’ inherent understanding of the female body informs their body-contouring silhouettes, while celebrating the women who wear them. The collection has an alluring sense of energy and its flawless execution is complemented by the use of color and bold lines. The striking collection speaks to the new modern woman who owns her own individuality.
This collection was my last show of the season although by now, my feet were killing me and in fact, I actually sprained my left ankle and had to pack it in ice!
Anyhoo, the show was packed with German celebrities on the front row and groups of young models, who I later saw going home by bicycle! I was on the second row, and was asked to move to the first!
Clothes were black feminine trouser suits with an open front and an open back. Wide trousers with matching halter top. Green one shoulder dresses, pink, olive-green, pastel blue outfits. Huge buttons, silk and linen with mixed pink green-blue prints.
Black and white stiletto shoes with red soles, smoky make-up, wonderful slimline dresses.
100 celebrities world-wide have donated a pair of their jeans to be painted on by Johny Dar. Each pair of jeans will be made into an individual art piece, and the 100 pieces will be exhibited for one week at the Saatchi Gallery in London, at the end of October, 2016. At the end of the exhibition, each piece will be auctioned, and all proceeds raised will be donated to the IRC initiative, helping millions of refugees worldwide, on a daily basis.
Jeans for Refugees is an extraordinary visual display of inspiration, innovation and collaboration, and an artistic initiative of hope. 30 of the 100 pairs of jeans were revealed by Johny Dar on the Berlin runway, and will be launched on the Jeans for Refugees online auction at catawiki.com.
The fashion show featured jeans from stars such as Anna Wintour, Christina Ricci, Claudia Schiffer, Danii Minogue, Elle McPherson, Emma Watson, Eva Longoria, Florence Welch, Heather Graham, Kate Moss, Lilly Allen, Mel C, Minnie Driver, Pink, Rachel Mc Adams, Sharon Stone, Sofia Coppola, Zoe Kravitz, and Zoe Saldana.
It was the first show on the last day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week so I was able to sit on the front row again! I wanted to start the way that I meant to go on, as it was going to be a looooong day because all my fashion catwalk appointments were packed from 10:00 – 17:30. Back to back!
The models had their hair and make up in a Star-Wars Princess Lea galactic style, with black-blue metallic lipstick and jewels stuck on skin! Jeans featured a range of original prints including intricate black and white bold mandalas and an Arabian stallion hand-painted T-shirt, silk scarves, silver, blue, gold, green, purple and burnt orange colours. Paint was splashed, or had colourful squiggles on distressed jeans.
I would love to be able to buy one of his T-shirts!
That’s it for now. See you next week!
This article is not sponsored, and all fashion opinions about young emerging designers, are my very own!
July is Pride Week!
From 02.07.16 – 24.07.16, the LGTB (community), well-wishers and gay-friendly supporters will gather in Berlin to celebrate and advocate a tolerant and open-minded society.
If you’re not in Berlin in July, you’re missing all the fun!
Watch this space!
Is it just me or do some of these fashion themes seem to be inspired by Game of Thrones? What do you think of these young emerging designers? Have your say?
See you in Berlin.
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I'm a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with my German husband and my half British – half German son.
My blog is a lifestyle expat travel blog and puts a focus on my promotion of culture, history, travels around the world, Europe, Brexit, the Royal Family, British-German life and being British in Berlin - I am The British Berliner!