From February 5 to February 8, Berlin Fashion Week brought the European fashion scene to the German capital. Over four days, both up-and-coming and established brands presented their creations at a total of 32 events, from intimate presentations to exuberant catwalk shows that characterised the Berlin scene.
Avant-garde was key, reflected in unique proposals such as sweaters made with dog hair and a diverse casting aimed at reflecting Berlin's diversity as a city, while also showing the German consumer that this clothing—dominated by black—was also made for them.
FashionUnited gives an overview of the most notable presentations at Berlin Fashion Week FW24/25.
Craftsmanship and extravagance, with Kanye West in the front row
The first day was characterised by William Fan's show, who chose the imposing Berlin Olympic Stadium as the backdrop to present his collection ‘Off Duty,’ in which he tried to go “beyond any attire” by presenting simple yet structured designs, suitable for everyone. This idea was underscored by the designer's choice of many models who looked like they came "directly from the streets of Berlin."
Marke then wowed the crowd with a collection made using circular textiles, partially manufactured in Germany just an hour from its atelier. This allowed the designer himself to personally supervise the process. The cost of this attention to detail is reflected, for instance, in outerwear pieces that go up to 990 euros.
The FW24 collection is the brand's second collection and its first foray into the wholesale market, so the designer has undertaken a profound exercise of introspection to define the label’s identity. This is reflected in the new collection through the incorporation of distinctive elements from folk fashion, French baroque, and Renaissance paintings or Bavarian shepherds. The ultimate goal is to reinterpret these elements, valorizing craftsmanship and applying it to streetwear, with an eye on the future.
The brand Anonymous Club closed the first day with much talk, not only because of the extravagance of its proposal but also because the controversial Kanye West was seated in the front row, which, despite the rapper’s efforts, did not go unnoticed.
Ukrainian brands, French elegance, and queer provocation
Ukrainian brands maintained a strong presence at the event. Designer Dzhus took advantage of the runway to tell her personal story, presenting a collection shaped by her traumas. Her runway show portrayed her personal experiences and how these evolved. Garments transformed under her hands, symbolised the exploration and overcoming of difficult emotions. The models showed impeccable performance, and in terms of beauty, her proposal was one of the most elaborate. It was clear that a lot of effort had gone into the performance and beauty looks of the models.
The collection of the young Berlin-based brand Handerlump left the fashion crowd wanting more, with the fun touch of its collaboration with the courier company DHL. As the models moved across the runway, they shook off water with each step they took, presenting garments with interesting silhouettes and made with high-quality dead-stock materials.
French designer Odely Teboul presented the collection for her brand Lou de Bètoly in the empty rooms of the former Habitat furniture store at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz. Inspired by classic elegance and the intrinsic seduction of lingerie, the collection predominantly combined vintage materials such as leather and mohair with recovered nylon fabrics and wool spun from recycled dog hair waste, which could dress none other than Beyoncé herself. Beyoncé has previously been spotted wearing garments from the French designer’s other collections.
The Lou de Bètoly label is distinguished by its artisanal approach, transforming second-hand materials into exceptional luxury pieces, some of which can reach 2000 euros, such as the exclusive dog hair sweater from her newest collection.
The designer acknowledges the lack of body diversity in her casting and commits to addressing it in future collections. She only works custom-made because the nature of the techniques she uses embraces the uniqueness of each body, adapting her design to the measurements of each individual. This would imply casting almost a year in advance, when the collection begins to be created, which is not easy considering the industry's accelerated pace.
And the question is, why not present in Paris, her hometown and the cradle of fashion? In addition to being settled in Berlin for many years, where she landed thanks to another fashion project, she has found great support in the German Fashion Council which boosts her work.
’Pfoten Weg’ is the name of Namilia's collection, which was revealed to the brand's eager army of fans on Tuesday night. Drawing inspiration from mediaeval armour, military looks, and glamorous trash, Emilia Pfohl and Nan Li showcased looks that provocatively addressed the hate against queer people who are unapologetically themselves.
Back to school, one size fits all, and recycled fashion
SF1OG stood out as the clear favourite on the third day. The brand presented a nostalgic collection that transported attendees to another era, recreating a school gym filled with references. Sitting on school chairs, they watched as the models paraded through an improvised classroom, wearing backpacks, and carrying iPods, and even a Bravo magazine.
The Lueder FW24 collection was the second most interesting on Wednesday. The brand wanted to explore the idea that we are all everyday heroes. Influenced by her past as a tailor in the world of tailoring, the designer managed to translate her acquired knowledge into streetwear, creating one-size-fits-all elastic garments that embrace the body they dress, regardless of size.
Germany is not the primary market for this designer, a consumer who wants to see more continuity over the years, while her brand is still going through an introspective process that resonates better with buyers in Korea and Japan. According to the designer, the buyers in these countries are more likely to make a purchase when they like something and moreover "nobody else" wears it.
In her casting, she wanted to focus on showcasing the diversity of Berlin as a city, to show the German customer that this clothing is also for them.
It is a collection of garments of up to one and a half kilos of mohair that would cost 1,100 euros, with around 30 reproductions per piece, based on the volume of pre-orders, some of which consists of 50 pieces.
The shoes from her collection were some of the most talked-about pieces of the week, fitting "like a glove."
Ukrainian designer PLNGNS also earned a spot in this selection by presenting a proposal of looks designed exclusively using recycled and upcycled materials featuring hundreds of sneakers.
Second-hand fashion has always been part of the culture of his country, not so much for sustainability reasons, but due to the difficult economic reality Ukraine was facing even before the current conflict. This has always pushed him to explore these stores and see them as an ideal resource to satisfy his creative thirst.
Four days filled with fashion
The brand Avenir gracefully presented its collection on the last day. It cleverly played with the interaction of heat and cold, with garments designed for temperature changes evident in knit looks, patchwork jackets, and denim designs. There are also decorations that mimic burns.
This article was originally published on FashionUnited.ES. Translation and edit from Spanish into English by Veerle Versteeg.