Berlin Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016
With this summer still in full swing it’s hard to look ahead to next year, however Berlin Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 16 collections have already hit catwalks and fashion fairs in more than 50 locations across Berlin. Last month the city was taken over by international designers for five jam-packed days of style. Visitors, contending with the temperamental and indecisive clammy weather, strutted the Straßen from one end of Berlin to the other in hope of either being papped or making that style defining purchase. Both new and old faces of the fashion world vied for the attention of buyers, sellers, marketers and fashionistas while exhibiting their new summer collections. Returning to Berlin this summer after it’s brief discontinuation, Bread and Butter fashion fair was back home in Templehof airport. The fair traveled from Cologne, to Berlin, to Barcelona and back again to Berlin, but boy are we glad it’s back. The fair showcased the best of urban- and street-wear for SS16 from over 300 international designers. With Berlin’s street style becoming more relaxed – the desired effect being to ensure studied styles look effortless and spontaneous – Fashion Week designers infiltrated Berlin to spice things up by introducing experimental pieces to add to our wardrobes, as well as inspiring the audiences to be more eco-friendly with their clothes.
Aside from the better known designers of the moment; Austrian-French fashion designer Marina Hoermanseder with her belted and strapped leather skirts and bags in all tones of the spring colour chart and Berlin’s own Ewa Herzog with her sophisticated and elegant occasion gowns and Bobby Kolade, who showed more block coloured pop pieces in his SS16 collection than ever before, more under-the-radar breakthrough talent was found outside the exclusive Mercedes-Benz area at Brandenburger Tor in various showrooms and runways across Berlin. Berlin Logs investigates those unacknowledged highlights and what’s hot next season.
PREMIUM FashionLeading international fashion trade fair PREMIUM ran throughout the week holding over 1500 high fashion collections in STATION-Berlin’s various halls. Womenswear, menswear, denim, accessories and shoes were just a few categories along the fashion spectrum that were exhibited in the bi-annual show. Global trends from premium brands around the world were brought to Berlin to be praised, critiqued and mental noted by buyers, retailers and press. By not opening the trade show to the general public, the fashion elite had over 23,000sq/m of exhibition space to leisurely trawl through before placing their orders, weighing up the competition and keeping up to date with each new season. PREMIUM’s motto of quantity over quality echoed right through the station with brands like Drykorn showcasing suede and leather textures and hues in grey and beige in their collection. Creating a monochrome haven, the Dissonance Area became a hipster’s paradise as guests walked through the showroom of 25 in-trend designers. Matt and Nat’s bags revamped the satchel and clutch classics in midnight black soft leathers. With oversized sunnies creating dodgy facial tan lines this summer, it’s essential to keep your face tone even. JACKS beauty department showed fashion week visitors the importance of a good brush. With an extensive range of multi-purpose brushes, the Berlin-based brand displayed their products to makeup applying novices outside the PREMIUM café. It’s hard to resist a sale when each individually hand marbled piece keeps catching your eye.
Green is the new blackContinuing the theme from January, The Ethical Fashion Show and Green Showroom presented progressive streetwear, an urban zeitgeist with a clear focus on design and sustainability. The show brought together top players from the eco-fair fashion world in Berlin’s Postbahnhof. How many of us actually know where our clothes originate? Chances are you don’t know. Talks by Stefan Siegel, founder of Not Just A Label and WellMade, aimed to communicate and inspire the ideas of green fashion to young people to think critically about the costs of fast fashion.
The main problem with fast fashion seemed to be changing the value of an item. The story of a garment starts on the catwalk, then is seen on celebrities or at parties and then coveted by the masses, perhaps unaware of its value. This isn’t helped by the luxury brands spending more money on marketing campaigns than on the promotion of fair fashion. Although, interestingly the recession worked in favour of ethical fashion, seeking value for money seemed to rid the fashion industry of its ugly parts. Those forward thinking smaller fashion companies with an aim to collaborate with more established designers, retailers and buyers end up creating a kind of mutualism. This in turn has the effect of establishing a more refined customer group and improving the relationship with the supplier.
Unfortunately, ‘sustainable’ has become something of an ugly word when used in the context of fashion. Vegan fashion very often evokes visions of home tie-dye and shrink-in-the-wash frumpy knitted cardigans. Admittedly there was some of the latter in the showroom (which is perhaps why the trend hasn’t fully caught on yet) however; July’s Fashion Week exhibited some standout vegan dedicated talent in their Eco fashion trade shows.
|Johny Dar's Collection.|
Chilean fashion brand Zurita showcased locally hand-weaved garments in which the heritage value of the production process is recognized as a luxury. The brand challenges the ongoing argument that it is just too expensive to produce slow fashion by individually spinning each piece to create zero energy emissions. Their naturally dyed pastel colors and emphasis on experimenting with different natural fabrics such as wool, linen and silk, which is produced with fewer pesticides, make the garments elegant and chic. Amazona Secrets also garnered attention with their organic Brazilian jewellery that originates from natural raw materials such as quinoa leaves, seeds, stones and chilies all dried and painted in gold. The delicate one-off pieces add class to evening attire. G&A Organic Underwear were also out in force – a brand that aims to make you feel guilt free from the inside out. The brand aims to make customers aware of the dangers of the world’s insecticide use on cotton crops. The exposure can be detrimental to those exposed to the chemicals; therefore G&A, along with the other green fashion exhibitors, aim to help working conditions inside and outside the factories. Fashion really can come at a cost, but with support from Berlin Fashion Week and help from designers like these three this can change.
Trends on the Rise1. Seventies revival! Ruling the runway, the palazzo pants are this season’s hottest new look. Ignore their bad reputation; the wide-leg shaping and floor-length style is surprisingly very flattering. Release your inner boho and team them with a simple cami and open toe shoe. Great affordable patterned or plain versions can be found in Zara high street stores.
2. Denim, Denim and more Denim please. Denim never completely goes out of fashion; it just hibernates now and then. In that morning panic simply layer with on trend colours; burnt orange for A/W or a subtle lilac for S/S. Dutch denim brand Mud Jeans promote the circle of life concept in their store. Return your tatty frayed Mud Jeans to them and receive a shiny new recycled pair in return. Is that the word ‘Upcycling’ we can hear again?
3. As sandal weather is still upon us, the mule is a signature shoe you will want to slip in to this season. Making their youthful comeback, mules, along with bulky sandals, complete an outfit. Please, though, invest in a pumice scrub and pedicure to get your feet mule-ready. For that perfect pair check out Italian brand Janet and Janet, a Berlin Fashion Week exhibitor, who sells stylish day and night open-footwear. If you’re feeling slightly more daring get yourself the animal print ones from the new SS16 collection.
4. The striped shirt is a wardrobe must have. A staple that is not going anywhere any time soon. It’s versatility of style make it a classic piece all year round. Berlin based fashion store Amorph showed off their SS16 shirt collection at Fashion Week; the light blue and white piece being a particular highlight.
5. Architectural jewellery – think minimalistic, geometric shapes sculptured into wearable charms. This may all sound slightly too mechanical for something that is supposed to be dainty body décor, but the sustainable pieces make for unique additions to a simple outfit. Statement accessories are the way forward this season.
By Holly Amber