What the Fashion Week says about Berlin

“If someone tells me they’re not interested in fashion, I say: Put on a G-string and an I love Hitler shirt and we’ll see how much you care about what you’re wearing.” Designer Lucas Meyer-Leclère gets to the heart of what is on the minds of many these days: Do the Germans really care about fashion? Or just nobody wants to think about how essential it is for you what you wear? Meyer-Leclère speaks of a sensual experience – “Clothes are often the first thing that touches the skin in the morning”.

And the show by Meyer-Leclère’s LML Studio label also shows how fashion can touch people on a wide variety of levels: in the Marienkirche near Alexanderplatz, he presented looks that met expectations in the Church break, queer people in black leather or black boots, plus a live organ concert.

Alexanderplatz was an extremely convenient location. One problem of this fashion week was that the designers organized their locations themselves: the venues were spread all over the city. Between Marzahn, Mitte, Charlottenburg and Oberschöneweide it was not possible to commute from one show to the next.

Jean Gritsfeldt also showed his fashion in the old power plant Oberschöneweide, at the other end of town. His show had received a lot of attention last year: it began with sirens and ended with a white peace dress – as a Ukrainian designer he could not ignore the war that had just broken out like others. At that time he was connected from Kyiv; now, a year later, he is in Berlin. His designs are based on his work of the past ten years: from pinstripe suits to depressed blue (that’s what he jokingly calls the color) to knitted dresses and golden two-piece suits. But the outfits were unspectacular.

Happiness on the runway: Rianna + Nina

Happiness on the runway: Rianna + Nina

Image: Helmut Fricke

The most exciting moment for him (and the audience) seemed to be when he ended up walking the runway himself several times, stroking his models in passing and baring his torso in front of the cameras, with the writing “Beauty is not a reason to deprive” written on it. Beauty is no reason for deprivation, what does he mean by that? After the show he said: “When such terrible things happen, people have to unite in the power of love and leave their comfort zone.” He seems at least as comfortable with these phrases as with the staging of himself.

Then again, the week in Berlin also produced fashion that, as cheesy as it may sound, brought happiness back to the catwalk: the first show by the label Rianna + Nina was bursting with colors and joie de vivre, which the two founders then named the collection also Kípos, Greek for garden. The fashion scene in the capital is as diverse as the shows in Berlin. This week showed that impressively – with all its ups and downs.

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