“Wild,” whispers a man in the front row to himself. Approving nods to his right and left. The next model on the catwalk pulls past him.
This type of entertainment could be experienced in one way or another at various locations in Berlin in the past few days. “Wild” – what does that mean? Exciting? Interesting? Does the display just blow his mind – or is there a giant question mark spinning in his head?
In both cases, the adjective describes the situation quite well – and not just for the younger generation. Even visitors who had missed the potential youth word of the year 2022 summarized what they had seen – even if they only wanted to express that a lot came together on the catwalks of Berlin Fashion Week.
Six months ago, Fashion Week coincided with the start of the aggressive war in Ukraine. The expressions of solidarity were great, the Ukrainian designer Jean Gritsfeldt showed political statement dresses at his show. Now, six months later, things were less political.
“Freedom on a grand scale”
As a constant, the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) opens the fashion week in the former main telegraph office in Berlin-Mitte. The building has recently been converted into a hotel. Ukrainian designer Kristina Bobkova will kick off the catwalk on Tuesday morning. Instead of showing her collection at the Ukrainian Fashion Week as usual, the 47-year-old is now presenting timeless and reduced designs in Berlin under the motto “Freedom on a grand scale”. A message that not only aims at the freedom of their homeland, but also at the freedom of choice when it comes to fashion and its wearers. Traditional Ukrainian craftsmanship meets Japanese unisex cuts, breaking with gender-specific conventions.
A few hours later, Kilian Kerner showed his Spring-Summer 2023 collection “Icons” in front of around 300 guests. Some actresses are prominently placed, the most well-known of them being Jella Haase from Berlin. She is one of the eight icons that inspired the designer. The designs (28 looks for women, 13 for men) are playfully elegant, with a strong reference to the Y2K look, i.e. that of the early 2000s. Most recently, the designer, known for unusual collaborations, had his collection supported by a vacuum cleaner brand – this time by a coffee brand, among others: the models wear mugs with a logo and water bottles in vests specially designed for them, thus showing a whole new facet of the utility trend – a wild mix.
Summer in early autumn Berlin
Just like Kerner, newcomer Laura Gerte, who graduated three years ago from the Kunsthochschule Weißensee, also relies on the look of the 2000s in the evening: low-rise jeans and skirts meet exciting prints and flowing patchwork elements. Gerte’s designs do not shy away from experimentation – you can neither fully discover nor appreciate all the details when the models quickly pass by.
On the other hand, Frida Weyer had to be discovered completely new on Wednesday morning. After a “break for life”, as the designer describes her time off when she had a son, she presented the resort collection of her new passion: Malūne. Colorful beachwear, worn by beaming models, brought the summer back to early autumn Berlin. “The zest for life is coming back,” says the front row. A bit cowboy, a bit hippie, a bit bohemian – that’s how Weyer herself describes her collection.