The designers hold the fort

Nafter the show is before the show: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) may be over, but this weekend at Tempelhof Airport, fashion brands will present collections or artistic positions as part of Positions Art Fair, and the first brands are already getting ready again captivating events for Berlin Art Week, and with “About You”, the fashion week for end consumers is heating up. Time to draw a first conclusion from the last few days.

More than 70 designers and brands presented their fashion ideas for the future in group exhibitions, runway shows and panel discussions at MBFW at the Berlin power plant. Physically for the first time in a good year and a half, however, expanded with digital offers. With actors like Fashion Council Germany, Berlin Salon or Reference Festival, there were also a lot of other actors on the program at the same time, all with their own focus – and a different target group.

In Berlin, this has recently been a reason for applause. After all, the capital stands for fashion diversity, for a green attitude and for a fusion of fashion with various other cultural disciplines such as art, music and nightlife. Why has it taken so long to squeeze everyone into a stiff costume? In any case, the Berlin Senate for Economy, Energy and Public Enterprises has spread its financial commitment to Fashion Week accordingly this year, thus supporting creative diversity in the city.

Childishly playful look

The absence of the fashion fairs that have moved to Frankfurt is hardly noticeable – as if they had never been there. The young and young designers keep their position in the capital, also thanks to the Berlin grant. The fashion week opened as usual with a show of an international forward-thinking talent, this time with the Austrian designer Florentina Leitner. The graduate of the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts presented a collection that casts a childlike playful look at modern fashion with trendy volume dresses, skin-tight catsuits, flowers and swans in every conceivable design – including feathers on the head.

Schoolgirl references and fluffy candy sleeves: the collection of Florentina Leitner


Schoolgirl references and fluffy candy sleeves: the collection of Florentina Leitner
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Image: dpa

Anyone who suspected the cult manga series Sailor Moon as a source of inspiration for the full body suits printed with manga heads, the puffed candy sleeves or costumes with schoolgirl references – especially when the models ran up and down in front of a full moon. on the wall – which was abused backstage by the designer. Florentina Leitner was about childhood memories of vacations on the Mondsee, the Austrian spent many summers there. Nevertheless, it was a holiday in Normandy when the designer collected the shells, from which she designed small handbags with thorn-like porcelain handles that can be imagined as a fun everyday accessory.

Elegant but not cool: Models shortly before the Fassbender show.


Elegant but not cool: Models shortly before the Fassbender brand show.
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Image: dpa

The Hamburg brand Fassbender, meanwhile, went towards the Mediterranean. The founders, Christina Fassbender and her brother Sebastian Steinhoff, translated a sea of ​​colors from coral and blue tones paired with a touch of Nordic breeze to dresses and costumes that embody Hanseatic elegance without appearing cold. These include tight-fitting long blazers with airy, wide trousers, coats and long cardigans with high-waisted jeans. Fassbender has been committed to more sustainability in fashion since it was founded in 2017. The collection was therefore made of vegan leather made of cactus silk, of cotton lyocell fibers developed in collaboration with an Italian manufacturer, and of denim, which was dyed with pure plant- and mineral-based substances.

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