BERLIN FASHION WEEK Autumn/Winter 2023/4
Berlin Fashion Week Celebrated Theatrical Black in all its Tactile & Textured Nuances. Juxtaposing all this Drama was Delicious, Joyous Colour as a Side-Show of Note.
Image Credit Berlin Fashion Week and Berlin Fashion Week on Facebook
For a full week in January the unbeatably aesthetic city of Berlin heaved with all things wonderous – and we mean more so than usual: the highly anticipated Berlin Fashion Week kicked off with much aplomb, showcasing a whopping 44 designers of Der Berliner Salon at Stilwerk KantGargen. Various international designers participated in a truly international show of the best of design. Celebrated Ukranian designer Jean Gritsfeldt lead the way with a collection of thought-provoking pieces in tactile fabrics and Berlin Contemporary was inaugurated by Danish designer Sia Arnika with some breath-taking avant-garde silhouettes. Malaikraiss presented a range of exceedingly elegant eveningwear and the legendary German designers Rebekka Ruetz, Marcel Ostertag, Kilian Kerner and Danny Reinke teamed up at Bolle Festsäle for a celebration of extraordinary local talent (see the videos below!)
There was a big push for sustainable fashion too, with Rianna & Nina presenting their customized vintage and pre-loved pieces. South African designer Dennis Chuene, a newcomer to the event, wowed with a collection of cutting-edge streetwear made from recycled fabrics.
We saw a plethora of exquisite design play out over the week – from avant-garde creations and exceptionally striking knitwear to classic tailoring and forward-thinking recycled fashion. Styles ranged from playful and experimental to super sleek and distinguished, with the quirky and the glamorous also very much part of the equation. Inevitably – with being focused on next Fall – there was plenty black – classic, theatrical and dramatic, in the collections, but there was also a kaleidoscope of divine colour in the collections for those of us who love things vibrant.
To get you properly into the inimitable Berlin vibe, what better way than to take front row seats as we kick off with the shows of 4 of the legendary heavyweights of the Berlin Fashion scene?
Watch Rebekka Ruetz’ show here:
Watch Marcel Ostertag’s show here:
Watch Kilian Kerner’s show here:
Watch Danny Reinke’s show here:
The avant-garde creations of Esther Perbandt have always been a highlight at Berlin Fashion Week, and this time around her “Astro Noir Lab” collection in the form of an immersive mixed reality performance, was no exception. A staunch proponent of sustainability within fashion (and vouching to achieve 100% of that within 10 years) she presented 16 theatrical looks with clever, built-in integrated chips. When scanned, these provide information about the value chains and origins of all materials! How futuristic and cool is that?
For autumn/winter 2023, the native Ukrainian designer Dzhus showed ten complex, multifunctional looks, which she magically transformed live during her presentation. We simply adore the extraordinary knits with their multiple pockets!
Lucas Meyer-Leclère creates clothing that, in truth, is more like works of art or sculpture than clobber! His ready-to-wear range has a hand-crafted, couture feel about it and is testament to tried-and-tested tailoring techniques. A source of infinite inspiration for the designer is glamorous star of the silver screen Marlene Dietrich and music legend David Bowie – and their continued presence in Berlin after their deaths.
Native New Yorker – now living in Berlin – Olivia Ballard has made a name for herself with her ‘hyperfeminine’ designs that are created to suit all genders, all figures and all ages. Her goal? To create a new, inclusive and diverse fashion future. We adore all the crafty crochet and tactile leather.
“Euphoria” is the title of Malaika Raiss’ capsule collection, which she presented at Berlin Fashion Week. We love the slightly vintage feel and winter white shades to these classic pieces of occasion wear.
Danish designer Sia Arnika only launched her label in 2020, but already Kylie Jenner was spotted in one of her designs! The use of unusual textiles, whimsical silhouettes and otherworldly compositions makes her designs very special. She explores common forms and materials, deconstructs them and allows opposites to come together in an unconventional way. We adore the glamorous leather maxi dress with its asymmetrical leather shawl detail.
Ulkrainian designer Kristina Bobkova’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection is a tribute to Ukrainian women, many without husbands, often scattered around the world with their children. This collection celebrates the women’s unbelievable strength and fragility.
South African designer Dennis Chuene’s eponymous streetwear label has been going strong since 2008; he’s been based in Berlin over the past two years, focusing on working exclusively on recycled and upcycled material, with the overriding emphasis on sustainability. These are truly wearable works of art – with a conscience!
Namilia’s designs speak of self-confidence, sex appeal and coolness, and celebrate individual freedom of expression. We particularly loved the badass batgirl shoulders of the biker’s jacket!
HADERLUMP ATELIER BERLIN
“Dystopia” was the theme at Haderlump Atelier for Fall 2023, using recycled jeans, leather jackets, parachutes and military uniforms to create stunning pieces. We adored the exquisite details in the pleating, threading, patchwork, rips and dyes.
Ukranian designer Jean Gritzfeld’s ‘Born in Kyiv, Sculpture of Love’ collection paid homage to his homeland. Striking silhouettes deploying a mix of tactile fabrics – denim, linen, faux fur, corduroy, chiffon, military prints, fringe, sequins and embroidery (mostly recycled) – left us with much food for thought. As ever, Jean Gritzfeld exploits pop culture in his design. We adored the transparent pieces with their roots firmly in glam rock.
As inspiration the design duo behind ODEEH looked at 1930s winter sports advertisements as well as the jet set culture of the 1960s and 1970s. Playful and nostalgic, we love what they’ve done with knitwear and woven blanketry!
LOU DE BETOLY
French designer Lou de Betoly creates crocheted pieces that are almost too precious to wear. Roses are interwoven into the knitted and crocheted skirts, tops, bodysuits, dresses and stockings. She drapes, knots, twists and moulds fabrics in such a way that they’re truly works of art.
Damur Huang once worked for Alexander McQueen; today he combines his experience, Asian pop culture and the Berlin attitude to life in his high-end streetwear brand Damur. Inspired by the American romantic comedy “27 Dresses”, Damur presented 27 one-off dresses to Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”. These delightful creations with their characteristic cut-outs are made from upcycled and recycled materials.
RIANNA + NINA
Rianna + Nina showcased their collection of exclusive vintage fabrics and unique prints as part of Berlin Contemporary at Berlin Fashion Week. These colourful treasures – kaftans, coats or robes – are all created from carefully selected and patterned vintage fabrics that are given a second lease of life thanks to special upcycling techniques. Colours, prints and cultures merge in Rianna + Nina’s one-of-a-kind creations, these are fast becoming timeless heirlooms. Nice to know, too, that all the pieces created in their Berlin studio. We just love how cheery these creations all are!