Yesterday Berlin saw the official kick-off of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. In this day and age, I can watch Fashion Week live from your desktop. With so many shows in one day, picking my favourite looks is no easy feat. Especially during Autumn/ Winter; there is something very comforting about streaming indoors during the cold winter months. The collections from day one greatly varied in genre, but they explored similar themes and motifs.
The designers were all showing AW17 collections. The first show of the day was Dorothee Schumacher. The looks were edgy and structured and often combined busy patterns with neutral staples. From outerwear to evening wear, the collection drew on modern street style trends. I would confidently walk down the street in one of these outfits, but I might think twice before showing up to the office. This collection strikes a very interesting balance between fantasy and reality.
The menswear kept coming at the Holy Ghost show, but with a minimalistic edge. The Schumacher show saw the odd splash of cobalt blue, whereas this collection leans on a tone that is closer to denim. A looser silhouette and ballet flats makes this look comfortable. The statement this makes is “comfort is beauty”.
If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with man shirts. I love the menswear trend because it means I can buy oversized shirts at Value Village and wear them out of the house with no pants and no one will question me. However, I work in an office, so I have to wear pants most of the time. For that reason the look in the middle is straight up goals. If I owned that outfit I would wear it to the office on the weekly. If I could get away with it, I’d wear the see-through pants. I love translucent clothing just as much as I love menswear. This collection is great because it is chock-full of comfy pants and cozy sweaters that you can wear without a bra.
That being said, I can also be a girly girl (I have many layers – like an onion). If you don’t follow high fashion, all you have to understand about Lena Hoschek FW17 is it’s like the antithesis of everything I was talking about earlier. Hoschek is glamorous, edgy, and she just wants to have fun. And yes, those are nipples and cartoon characters in the same fashion show.
All of the models are sporting Uma Therman’s haircut from Pulp Fiction, which creates an illusion that this could be a wardrobe for the same person. It’s like Lena Hoschek has invented the Disney villain I never knew I wish existed. This collection draws on menswear trends a lot less and revisits retro silhouettes. Drawing on trends from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s lends a vintage vibe.
The details in this show deserve their own blog entry. If you look closely, you’ll see the embroidery on one of the dresses are actually Disney characters. Not to mention the gloves. Most of my favourite looks were completed by the short white gloves, but the striking black gown of villainy is the exception. The show was over twenty minutes long so by the time that dress came out I was thinking oh, it’s the finale dress, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The actual finale dress is an embroidered tulle wedding gown, because what kind of Disney narrative would be complete without a happy ending?
Not all fashion designers consider the runway walk a necessity. For his AW17 presentation, Danny Reinke placed his models on a three-dimensional fairytale landscape. Bright reds, ballgowns, and an homage to the poisonous apple motif were the most dominant themes. Most of the gowns were made of either velvet or tulle. In stark contrast, the shoes and socks were modern and metallic. It’s like street style meets the trail of breadcrumbs in the forest.
This collection is a lot more about antiquity than nostalgia. A sharp departure from the menswear trend and a refocusing on fantasy gives this a completely unique vibe.
The office chic look picked up again at Hein Le. This collection is as structured and efficient as German industry. Long sleeves, long hemlines, and loose silhouettes make this look both androgynous and work-appropriate. Not to mention, it looks comfortable.
Day One in Berlin saw a wide variety of themes and motifs. What I found most striking was the binary between fantasy and reality. Our society is becoming more tolerable towards a variety of gender identities, and the fashion industry is giving us new ways to imagine ourselves. I mentioned I love man shirts but I can also be a girly girl; the gender binary is becoming less and less relevant in how we express ourselves, and the dichotomy between fantasy and reality is taking its place.