Over the course of Berlin’s fashion week, a broad array of visions was put forward. What was interesting, though, was how much continuity emerged across the schedule’s often-wildly divergent collections.
Riani Fall/Winter 2019 show in Berlin. Photos: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
If there was one thing the city’s designers agreed on this season, it was colour. Or to be precise, one colour in particular; a searingly bright shade of tomato red that cropped up all over the schedule – everywhere from Marc Cain (on languid two-piece suits and A-line padded parkas) to Riani’s slouchy twinsets and plush overcoats and Dawid Tomaszewski’s floor-length gowns draped in ostrich feathers or drenched in oversized paillettes. And the ultimate sanction came from legendary local performance artists Eva & Adele Berlin, who turned up to watch Lou de Bètoly’s show in head-to-toe ruby ensembles.
IVANMAN Fall/Winter 2019 presentation in Berlin. Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
Showing at Der Berliner Salon, Marina Hoermanseder’s signature leather bustiers came blended into a surreal mix of sherbet-striped bathrobes, leopard-print cowboy hats, bondage-strapped leggings, latticework dresses, and miniskirts bound up with trompe-l’œil sequinned belts – all in a heady rainbow of marigolds, reds, and fuchsia pinks. Across town, Ivan Mandžukić’s IVANMAN presentation saw outerwear sliced-up to reveal second-skin sport-striped knits in punchy collisions of aquamarine, lilac, red, and sunflower yellow.
Rebekah Ruetz Fall/Winter 2019 show in Berlin. Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
In a sea of sleek monochromes, a handful of designers stood out with a boldly maximalist approach to pattern. Rebekah Ruetz flung together bright orange tiger spots, turquoise marbling, Navajo abstract knits, and geometric repeats; William Fan went for swaggering Seventies layers in lush animal prints, clashing plains, and broken plaids; and Marc Cain collided zebra and leopard in a series of unexpectedly sophisticated monochrome separates.
Danny Reinke Fall/Winter 2019 show in Berlin. Photos: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
Unsurprisingly, outerwear stole the show(s), in every conceivable form. There were supersized punk-plaids at Irene Luft, bumblebee-striped trenches at Marcel Ostertag, and sleek grey parkas at Ivanman. Danny Reinke showed unstructured overcoats in a blue weave lined with yellow, while Kilian Kerner had Gatsby-esque greatcoats in a sheared chevron-pattern textile. At Richert Beil, there was slanted, austerely slim tailoring (in soft grey, or black edged with neon safety stripes) and fuzzy onesies. And skiwear specialist Bogner set the scene, kicking off the official schedule with a slickly-staged show packed with plumply-padded parkas, camo-print anoraks, and reversed shearling greatcoats – all of which would work convincingly both on- and off-piste.
Irene Luft Fall/Winter 2019 show in Berlin. Photos: Courtesy of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.
By and large, Berlin’s designers kept their collections sleekly practical, which meant that the schedule’s occasional foray into fantasy stood out even more. At Riani, slinky Seventies silhouettes were splashed with butterflies and wrapped in iris-print overlays. Marcel Ostertag commandeered the vast atrium of the Westin Grand Hotel on Friedrichstrasse to showcase ruffled frocks in pale metallics, rich satins, and glittering lurex; Irene Luft showed sleek cocktail blazers teamed with drifts of dark chiffon; and Kilian Kerner opted for tailoring slashed to reveal hints of lace. At Danny Reinke, languid separates were paired with creamy brocades, pussy bows and wispy layers – before the show built to a crescendo of ballgowns formed from flurries of ice-blue tulle.