Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin S/S 08
Rudolf Dassler by Puma
Karl Lagerfeld got his start in Germany, but who’s next? The answer may come on July 13, when Berlin hosts their first official Fashion Week. Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, the three day event at Brandenberg Gate promises a major fashion adventure for all involved. But who will come away with the most buzz? ASW tracks the style contenders…
Anglomania: Vivienne Westwood
Think of it as Marc by Marc for punks: Anglomania is the diffusion line by Vivienne Westwood and, starting this year, it gets its very own fashion show. Expect loads of plaid, heels and combat boots, and a general sense of beautiful mayhem as only Ms. Westwood can provide. And after her memorable public outing to the Life Ball in Vienna this May, the political messages she famously blares on the catwalk may move more towards AIDS relief. Still, if you find yourself without a show ticket, just memorize Vivienne’s famous slogan, ‘Ich bin kein terrorist’ – that’s ‘I am not a terrorist’ in German – to sail through to the front row.
Strenesse by Gabriele Strehle
There’s a reason why Julianne Moore and Victoria Beckham always look so sleek: they’re often wearing clothes by Gabriele Strehle. Like Missoni and Prada, the Strenesse label was created in the 1940s by Gabriele’s parents, but by 1970 their daughter had taken over the line as creative director. With her appointment came a new vision: a company dedicated to creating modern, wearable sportswear for real German women. The results were sleek sweater dresses, silk skinny pants cut 30 years before Dior Homme’s, and a neutral color palette of steel and chrome that still resonates with German design today. Though Gabriele is based in Berlin, this marks her first German fashion show – until last year, she showed her collection in the Bryant Park Tents in New York.
Rudolf Dassler by Puma
Sometimes sibling rivalry results in years of therapy, but in the case of the Dasslers, a fight between two brothers sparked two of the biggest names in fashion; while Adolf Dassler founded Adidas, his brother Rudolf created the sneaker empire, Puma. Celebrating its 60th birthday this year, Puma now has guest lines by Alexander McQueen, Philippe Starck, and Christy Turlington. Though Dassler himself passed away in the ’70s, his spirit lives on in a new range of blazers, jackets and pants that bridge the gap between sportswear and actual sports and seem to capture the German ideals of efficiency and beauty with a jagged urban flavor that nobody else seems to nail down. And since the show mixes men’s and women’s designs, you can expect some major eye candy on the Puma runway!
C-Neeon and the New Gen Celebration
Those familiar with London Fashion Week know that the New Generation show is the place to find up-and-coming talent – Christopher Kane memorably showed in their lineup before getting hired by Versace. Now the New Gen team brings their fashion flair to Berlin, where a giant final bash features five emerging designers in a catwalk battle for a cash award. Our pick? C-Neeon, the design duo whose draped jersey dresses and electric prints make them a cooler, misbehaved version of Marni or Miu Miu. With fans like Sienna Miller and Lily Allen, they already have some fashion traction.
— Faran Krentcil