Imagine it’s Fashion Week and nobody goes. From Monday this will not be fear, but a certainty. For the first time, Berlin Fashion Week is being held entirely with no visitors, no hectic buyers and fashion journalists, no front-row wishers. This time, the models have to do without the dim light of cellphone photography and final claps.
The lockdown makes this necessary, but the organizers and the city of Berlin have decided not to abandon the event entirely. Everyone can catch a glimpse of fashion for this upcoming winter, as all events are streamed live with no access restrictions.
“We believe opening new shapes to the end consumers is necessary and at the right time,” says Marcus Kors Vaughn, organizer of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the moment.
And this time it really comes down to everything. Almost a year ago the analog costumes were shown in Berlin. A lot has happened since then. First, the Panorama trade fair filed for bankruptcy, then Premium, along with the sustainable fashion trade fair, Nyunt, went to Frankfurt to hold a new fashion week there.
This is scheduled to take place for the first time in July for Frankfurt Fashion Week. Many organizers, especially the city of Berlin, want to prove that this is not over in the capital. They spent more than three million euros on a fresh start.
Monday through Wednesday, you’ll feel much less in town than usual. Almost all of the events are centered on the former power station Köpenicker Strasse in Mitte. At least for everyone to notice digitally that it’s Fashion Week, presentations begin with an explosion of colors and shapes that couldn’t be further from our dismal everyday life.
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It was inaugurated by the young Belgian Tom van der Burg, who won the important French Fashion Festival in Hyeres last year. He creates fashion that transcends gender roles and sees himself more as an artist who brings installations, video, fashion and graphics together.
There are only ten fashion shows this season
It fits with the intended new start of Fashion Week, which will become more multidisciplinary and want to move away from the classic focus on retail fashion in showrooms, galleries and shows. There are only ten of them this season. Not only can everyone participate now, but more creative disciplines such as art, music, and performance must also be included. This is what the “Berlin, Berlin” festival presented to the Berlin streetwear platform Highsnobiety, which has so far been the focus of international attention.
For the first time, founder David Fischer became an active part of Fashion Week with his online English-language magazine, as well as streetwear brand Acronym and designer collective GmbH, as well as artist Olafur Eliasson through his solar project Little Sun. There is also a virtual gallery. There you can take a look at nine Berlin-based artists’ sculptures at specific locations using virtual reality, or just look at the artwork on your smartphone from the sofa.
You can actually visit Berlin designers in their studios
Even in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, where a large catwalk has always been the focus of action, there should be many different formats in the future. In the power plant, the entire building is used in various forms.
This includes the Berlin Salon, which was revived two years later under the leadership of the former editor-in-chief of German Vogue, Christian Arp. 35 German designers like Odeeh, René Storck, and Saskia Dietz do not submit their designs in person, they are shown on a virtual tour. These brands include several Berlin brands such as Lala Berlin, Esther Perbandt, Marina Hoermanseder and Kaviar Gauche. Fashion Open Studio also revolves around fashion from Berlin. You can actually visit twenty studios across town.
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It takes a lot of effort for something to ever happen. The power plant has its own test center where all involved parties must be tested in advance. In addition, there are many other measures: ventilation systems, special tracking programs and, of course, minimal clearance, mouth and nose masks.
The first show is coming. For the first time, there may be more fashion talk than it appears. Between the shows there are always discussions, for example about “How fun is fashion?” A lot of people ask themselves this when they look at the jogging pants, sweaters, and thick socks they wear to the home office. We hope Fashion Week gives us a glimpse of better times.