Since the Wall fell in 89, Berlin's
had an interesting reinvention. It's a cultural melting pot; an amalgamation of art forms, cultures and identities. With more than eight thriving fashion schools and 800 young designers currently residing in Berlin (cheap rent!), the city
already widely known as the bastion of avant-garde design. The current school of Berlin designers take risks, and their fashions are reflective of the city itself — young, dynamic and ideas-driven. We're halway through Berlin Fashion Week
right now, so let's meet some labels!
Since launching in 2004, LALA Berlin designer Leyla Piedayesh has received significant attention. With her flagship store located in the Mitte area, her wearable pieces cater to a wide customer base who appreciate both the bespoke pieces and the off-the-rack ones. The most commercially-oriented of our group, her modern looks have a 60s sensibility and we're loving it.
A fashion anarchist, Sontag never submits to industry jargon such as "seasons" or "trends." Rather than sketching beforehand, Sontag drapes fabric directly onto the model and formulates his outfits from there. Constantly blurring the line between evening and streetwear, his elegant, structurally-fluid silhouettes break away from the premeditated. With this, Sontag has developed his own definition of what constitutes form.
Launched in 2009, Augustin Teboul is a creative venture between German-born Annelie Augustin and French-born Odély Teboul. Their use of monochromatic color, material and structure hark back to the designers they've worked for — Augustin for Yohji Yamamoto and Odély for Jean Paul Gaultier. Despite their surrealistic and macabre undertones (they named their first collection 'Exquisite Corpse' after the Surrealist game), the line is strikingly feminine with sleek silhouettes and elaborate trimmings.
The Bulgarian-born designer, who launched his line in 2010 and has already received attention from the likes of German Vogue editor in chief Christiane Arp, artfully mixes muted sheer tops and opaque pants. His one of a kind, hand-made garments are all made directly in Berlin.
Design duo Johanna Perret and Tutia Schaad take a sculptural and spatial approach. Artful layering, bright colors and clothes you can move in are central tenets for the designers. Despite the wide, non-form-fitting cuts — they maintain incredible attention to detail, precision and geometry.
Michael Michalsky sports a brimming CV. He has held impressive posts at Levi Strauss Co (as design director) and adidas (as global creative director), where he initiated collaborations with designers such as Yohji Yamamoto and Stella McCartney. Michalsky, also the creative director behind MCM handbag line, launched his RTW line in 2007. His background in sportswear and streetwear have clearly informed the practicality and functionality of his line.
His strong entrance into the Berlin fashion scene in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2011 was no surprise, due in part to his impeccable eye, color combinations, and superb craftsmanship. All produced in Germany, his silky fabrics and elaborately dyed patterns work in harmony with his classically-tailored and chromatically reserved separates.
Listen to Oyster's Berlin Fashion Week Mixtape by Gillian Sagansky!