I recently returned from covering the autumn/winter 2015 edition of Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Berlin for FAULT Magazine. It was my first time covering the event and there were many things that surprised me about my perception of the German fashion industry after the event.
In general I found the fashion a little disappointing. I felt it lacked a strong direction and identity of its own. I had an interesting conversation with an artist and fashion designer who lives in Berlin while I was there. He showcases in New York and said that the German fashion industry were followers and not leaders despite showing first on the womenswear schedule. I’m inclined to agree.
I expected to see more streetwear too, it is after all the style that the capital is known for and the focus of a number of the trade shows which take place during fashion week. Instead, many of the designers who had a lot of hype around them, like Kaviar Gauche, were eveningwear designers. Celebrities who had dressed up to come to fashion week largely wore party wear as well, as if they were heading to a club, not a fashion show at 3pm on a Tuesday.
However, I wasn’t entirely underwhelmed and for me there was one designer who stood out above all the rest.
Marina Hoermanseder is a graduate of ESMOD Berlin and Central Saint Martins in London, and while her label is only two years old, she showed more creative imagination, understanding of her materials and their use on the body and the balance of art and commerciality than anything else I saw. Berlin Fashion Week used to attract such highlights as Iris van Herpen, known for her outlandish, futuristic designs, and it’s good to see that while that might have left, there is some home-grown talent to fill that void. FKA Twigs has already worn Marina Hoermanseder for a performance on the Jimmy Fallon show and I’m sure it won’t be long before there’s a queue of show women wanting to wear it.
For those who like some theatricality to their fashion, the show opened with a model dressed in a post-box red, PVC pencil skirt with high waist and over-exaggerated hips, held up by braces. The model tip toed up the catwalk and twirled her arms romantically, as if she were a character out of Alice in Wonderland. The spectacle had me gripped from the outset and as more and more outfits followed on the catwalk I was enchanted. Fetish wear is a common thread in the former Alexadner McQueen intern’s work and for autumn/winter 2015 beautiful and glamorous silk trousers and dresses were contrast with structural buckles, leather and corsetry.
Though presenting very similar ideas to her previous seasons, autumn/winter 15 felt more grown up, more sophisticated and incorporated several wearable ready-to-wear pieces whilst not compromising on her signature avant-garde style.
For such a new designer, the room was packed and she received a standing ovation for what was another very promising sign of things to come from the designer.
Read my highlights from each day at Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week Berlin on FAULT: