Review of Berlin Fashion Week

Berlin Fashion Week drew to a close on 19 January and Aesthetica takes a look at some of the trends beginning to emerge in streetwear. Bright trade show presented some of the biggest competitors in the casual streetwear market and drew a sharp contrast with the trends appearing at high-end presentations such as Premium and Bread & Butter. It appears that where high-end fashion is rejecting Modernism in favor of a simple lifestyle and clothing to match, casualwear is embracing the technological revolution and the hectic lifestyle to go with it. However, regardless of the ideological differences, there were still some strong similarities throughout.

A large proportion of brands picked up on several print styles and motifs. Peacock feathers, Hawaiian, tropical, floral, bandana paisley and cat faces reappeared on t-shits, rucksacks and caps. They all conveyed a sense of chaos, exuding a look of being digitally enhanced and thrown together in a random way. High quality real images, enlarged and used to completely cover a garment, were also popular. Close-up shots of animal faces and food covered base fabrics, demonstrating the advancements in digital printing. Technology as also evident in printing on mesh fabrics.

Many collections also incorporated ethnic and tribal patterns, conveying a sense of travel and culture. Both high-end and street level brands have made use of these prints, for example Mipacha shoes which are hand crafted using traditional Peruvian prints, were early adopters of the trend. A large amount of taboo imagery was also on the increase. Cannabis leaves, as well as street art and tattoo style designs were recurrent. These things, commonly associated with a rebellious subculture, appear to be coming into the mainstream.

It was obvious from Berlin Fashion Week that the fashion industry is changing dramatically, this is primarily due to the increase of blogging, internet sharing and social media. As such, few subcultures remain exclusive, instead trends starting on the streets are bought to the attention of the media. This is the complete reverse of how trends used to begin, when designers were the creators and dictators of trends. It will be interesting to see how this change continues to transform over the coming years.

Berlin Fashion Week, 14-29 January.

Words: Baibin Downey-Orr

1. Image courtesy of Heiko Laschitzki.