To prep for the week, the whiskeys at NEU! Bar were appropriately clean and vanilla smooth – perhaps too much so. Despite the pains of waking the following morning, a bit of gourmet coffee clears the brain and so started the HIEN LE show – the 10am opening runway for the latest Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin AW14 presentations.
Having known him for a few years now, expectations were for the minimalism so characteristic of Berliner designers. But of course with a twist of HIEN LE trademark patternings. Impressive to see however was his rise above comfort zones in presenting a sophisticated collection that spoke of his developing confidence and maturity.
Another pleasant surprise later that day was AUGUSTIN TEBOUL, a Berlin based Franco-German duo discarding any thoughts of “wearables,” and instead constructing a conceptual spectacle: wind machines for a billowy setting, and a rich palette of textures on models with quiffs. “So REFRESHing!” – exclaimed Art Director Suvi Häring as soon as the show ended, the French undertones still flowing strong with complimentary Lillet and macarons.
Keeping with the offsite location shows, Joachimstrasse 11 (the complex of David Chipperfield Architects) saw a presentation that was distinctly PERRET SCHAAD. Johanna’s intuitive elegance complimented with Tutia’s playful cheerfulness – softly textured draping highlighted by the hard glint of a zipper, or fluid lines marked by the gentle touch of a single button – and together, a graceful collection.
Back in the MBFW tent, “DRAMA” was the word at KILIAN KERNER: black and gold, silky, embroidered and textured beneath the runway spotlights. Edgy and sinister, I wouldn’t mind a few of the pieces myself. Yes, even that golden suit.
The last notable show to speak of here is MARINA HOERMANSEDER who marched fashionable battle armour down the length of the catwalk. Clearly inspired by Alexander McQueen and driven by a passion for details, this young French-Austrian designer folded, twisted, and buckled leather in repetitive constructs with perfect execution of colour tones, to achieve an otherworldly aesthetic – a worthy ovation!
As regards the other aspects of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week – champagne at hotel bars, detox juice, gourmet coffee, and dining experiences around Berlin – those are stories in their own right. Perhaps to be languidly told with a glass of red and soaking in the Portuguese sun – away from the Berlin grey. MBFWB AW14 is at an end but the lifestyle continues.