The fashion weeks in Paris and New York are all about Dior and Chanel. But here in Berlin, we're done with the present. We're making fashion for the future, says DW's Lavinia Pitu.
"Berlin is so avant-garde, you really have to be good in order to make it here," I was told by a designer at a past edition of Berlin Fashion Week. It's time that international fashionistas showed their avant-garde ideas again to the world; spring/summer 2013 collections are on show in Berlin through July 8.
For the retailers, designers, trend-seekers, and fashion journalists here, it's not what's on the inside that counts: Clothes, shoes and accessories are in the spotlight. For everyone here, Brussels, Greece and the euro crisis have ceased to exist, at least through the weekend.
And even though the catwalks in Berlin are still unknown territory for the big established labels, we are already one step further here. Berlin is producing trends for your future.
And Chinese designer Yujia Zhai-Petrow knows it. That's why she created her label 1913 Berlin in Germany's capital rather than in London, New York or Hong Kong, where her cashmere sports and luxury clothes have already been seen.
"Berlin is definitely the future, because despite the fact that the Germans are known for setting rules, there are no rules whatsoever when it comes to art," she told me. "Berlin is freedom."
Shining like a star, the Big Star
Marc Jacobs, creative designer at Louis Vuitton, probably thought as much when he presented the Designers for Tomorrow Award on opening day. Did I mention it's all about the future? No wonder the venue tent of this season's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was placed at the biggest intersection in Berlin, which is known as Grosser Stern (The Big Star).
The future just can't do without the crème de la crème of German designers, so the spotlights are shining this week on the even shinier metallic, straight lines of Hugo Boss and on the fluid, airy creations of Escada.
Berlin designer Michael Michalsky is expected to gather 1,500 guests at his Style Nite on Friday evening. The collection is still a surprise, but we already know that plenty of rich VIPs will be gracing the front row at the show.
Speaking of rich, there's good news for those who have a pendant for dazzling colors: Neon is still in. Thank God. I saw it juxtaposed with bold contrast tones at the Kaviar Gauche show. Guido Maria Kretschmer used it too, for his supernatural spring/summer collection. The glamorous details of Marc Cain are also sprinkled with neon yellow, pink and green.
The shoe must go on
After seeing some of the shows, my feeling is that this is the most fantastical Fashion Week yet in Berlin. I felt like the designers were screaming out loud, "Be free!" "Be brave!" "Be daring!" In other words, greet the spring with an explosion of color, metallic details, romantic satin, unlikely pattern combinations, conspicuous headgear. And all these outfits are paired with the mandatory, indispensable, high-high-high heels.
Berlin wouldn't be Berlin without its eco buffs. Green fashion is on the menu at the Lavera Showfloor, the Green Showroom and the Ethical Fashion Show, pointing out that glamour and sustainability don't have to be a contradiction in terms.
More high-high-high heeled shoes and trendy clothes can be found at the street and urban fair Bread & Butter, as well as at Premium, Bright, and The Gallery Berlin trade shows.
So, what to wear next? Anything - as long as you choose a feel-good-about-myself style and let yourself flow with passion for fashion. Put it out there, like the Berliners do. And above all, dress for the future.
Author: Lavinia Pitu
Editor: Kate Bowen