Twice each year, the top fashion designers of the world meet in Berlin, Germany for a spectacular celebration of haute couture. During those two weeks, Germany becomes a mecca for international celebrities and fashionistas, with global media outlets reporting on every event.
Held from July 3-8, the 2012 Berlin Fashion Week featured a wide range of fashion-related shows and events presented throughout the German capital. Highlighting the week were several runway fashion shows presenting new designs from internationally-prominent designers. Fashion Week Berlin also included showroom and gallery exhibitions open to retailers as well as to the general public.
One of the most popular venues at Fashion Week Berlin was Bread and Butter, a trendy trade fair showcasing the best and brightest in international urban street wear. Presented as a trade show and market, Bread and Butter featured displays from hundreds of famous clothing exhibitors.
Also immensely popular were the runway shows held at Lavera Showfloor Berlin, all of which were open to the general public. These fashion shows featured haute couture creations by designers such as Hugo Boss, Guess, Michalsky, AirField and other famous fashion trendsetters.
Highlights during the runway shows included a showing of bikinis by Hunkemoller. These were primarily created in vivid solid shades, with black as the predominant color. Designer Esmod also favored black, in a runway show that featured a number of two-piece pantsuits and chiffon-skirted evening dresses.
Although modern, streamlined elegance seemed to be the overall look favored by most fashion mavens, a few designers softened their contemporary styles with a touch of old-school glamor. AirField exhibited a retro-look collection with dresses, tops and wide evening pants constructed in glamorous gold lamé. AirField also presented a collection of bright neon lime jackets and accessories paired with animal print tops, trousers and skirts. Michalsky also reflected retro elegance in a collection of ivory chiffon jackets, tops, skirts and pants embellished with pastel beading.
Hugo Boss displayed a streamlined daytime look with straight- cut dresses and halter tops in simple tones of pink and ivory, with evening dresses contrasting in aqua blue and silver lame. For men, the Boss look included monochromatic suits and tops in royal blues and blacks.
This year, Berlin Fashion Week also had a concurrent show, the Ethical Fashion Show, which featured eco-friendly fashions presented in a number of venues. Designers known for their commitment to sustainable designs and fair trade market practices displayed their latest creations in a special green showroom hosted by the Hotel Adlon in Brandenburger Tor.
Designers who exhibited in the green showroom included Julia Starp, Anne Gorke, Animana, Malli, Studio Eccentric, SeeMEe, Sarah Reinhard, Elvis and Kresse, Atelier Laure Paschoud, Halasi, Materia Prima and Stewart+Brown.
Hamburg designer Julia Starp, who is rapidly becoming a name among ecologically-minded designers, presented her brand new SHE collection for summer 2013. Starp’s collection included faux leathers in black and colorful prints, in addition to sheath dresses in bright reds accessorized by touches of vivid purple. Her most audacious creation was a topless ensemble exhibited by a model who walked out wearing only a black and white beach skirt, hair turban and sunglasses, then turned around to display a bare back covered with black ink graffiti.
Other designers included Esther Perbandt, who showed a collection of sleek backless sheath dresses in black and cream, and Ellen Eisemann, whose flared-skirt designs were reminiscent of 1950s crinoline skirts.
The Hotel Adlon also hosted a Green Showroom Salonshow, which featured formal and casual wear in crisp, cool cottons and other natural fibers. Predominant colors for many of these designers were white, light cream, black, gold, blue, aqua and the always-popular sage green.
Judging by the critical reception, the July show was not only a major success, but a reminder that Berlin Fashion Week has rapidly become a major player as it continues to grow in popularity and importance within the fashion industry.