It was a very Berliner show because it was all about freedom,” designer Lucas Meyer-Leclère said backstage after his runway show in the German capital last week.
Berlin Fashion Week is a place where new, controversial, and innovative designers can flourish. The themes of many fashion shows in 2019 have been “Fashion & Technology” or “Fashion & Sustainability”.
Despite some of the world’s biggest fashion labels such as Jil Sander, Hugo Boss, and Adidas originating in Germany, the focus of its fashion week has changed from household names to the emerging new talent.
For instance, the StyleNite by designer Michael Michalsky gained international publicity for its unusual performances of different art disciplines combined with fashion. Famous musicians like Lady Gaga and HURTS gave performances at StyleNites. he has also a very inclusive approach to choosing models for his show.
The young Frenchman was reflecting on the city in which he had chosen to base his business after stints elsewhere, working for the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Jimmy Choo.
Meyer-Leclère’s charismatic, occasionally messy, collection of painted and “retailored” vintage, luxury clothing — the designer doesn’t like the word “upcycled” — for his brand, LML Studio, was feted as one of the standout shows of Fashion Week, held over five days last week.
Also on this year's schedule are two trade fairs with their own runways. Sustainable fashion is on the agenda at the Green and Ethical Showroom. The Berliner Mode Salon, an initiative by "Vogue" magazine dedicated to presenting German fashion, is likewise planning a number of events, including the presentation of a new collection by newcomer Antonia Goy.
Rosa M. Dahl, the designer behind SF1OG, another of the brands that had local industry observers buzzing, calls Berlin “a very creative, diverse and open-minded city which makes it easy to feel free to follow your heart.”
But the long-running problem for Berlin Fashion Week was that this attitude, and the interesting outfits it engendered
As observers have commented, “you’d leave a show and wonder why the clothes people were wearing on the street were far more interesting than what you’d just seen inside.”
But that was not the case at the most recent Berlin Fashion Week.
Last week, labels like SF1OG, LML Studio, Laura Gerte, Bondy and the Platte collective lined up alongside Berlin’s runway stalwarts. The newcomers’ firm focus on a no-holds-barred creativity, genuine sustainability and recycling, diversity and gender fluidity accurately reflected what’s actually happening on Berlin’s streets and in its galleries and clubs.