That was the Berlin Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2022/23
What a week! From 14th to 20th March 2022 the Berlin Fashion Week started its first season of this year and showed itself collectively strong with a clear position. Various formats like MBFW Berlin, Berliner Salon, 202030 - The Berlin Fashion Summit, Fashion Open Studio and Studio2Retail as well as many other events showed themes like sustainability, innovation, craftsmanship, cohesion and solidarity for Ukraine. We have summed up the highlights of this season:
@Der Berliner Salon
To kick off the Berlin Fashion Week, Der Berliner Salon opened the group exhibition as part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, sponsored by the Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Industry. A total of 31 designers were shown, who were selected by the co-initiator of the Berlin Salon, Christiane Arp.
Among the selected designers of the group exhibition Autumn/Winter 2022/23 were: Aeyde, Anna Auras, Antonia Zander, Avenir, Carla Renée Loose, Dawid Tomaszewski, Detlev Diehm, Esther Perbandt, Fiona Bennett, Hannibal, Horizn Studios, Horror Vacui, Julia Leifert, Karen Jessen, Konrad, Lala Berlin, LML Studio, Lutz Morris, Maximova Jewelry, Odeeh, Oftt, PB 0110, René Storck, Rianna + Nina, Sminfinity, Société Angelique, Stiebich & Rieth, Studio 163, SUS Berlin, Vickermann and Stoya as well as 2020untainted. The official Opening Reception was attended not only by journalists and industry experts, but also by Franziska Giffey, Mayor of Berlin, and Michael Biel, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, who opened Berlin Fashion Week with inspiring words.
@Fashion Council Germany
Monday evening the FCG hosted a dinner and presented its first collaboration with Cabildo de Gran Canaria, the Canary Islands government and patron of Gran Canaria Swim Week - the largest runway show for swimwear in Europe. The start of this unique collaboration was celebrated with an exclusive fashion event including a seven-course Michelin-star dinner with culinary specialties from Gran Canaria. Invited were German and Canarian designers such as Aurelia Gil, Chela Clo, Como la trucha al trucho, Elena Morales, Maldito Sweet, Nuria González and Palmas from Gran Canaria, as well as Hien Le, Lala Berlin, Oftt, PB0110, William Fan and Working Title from Germany. The highlight of the evening was the launch of a fashion film produced in Gran Canaria, reflecting the different characteristics/talents of the designers:inside as well as the friendship between the two organizations.
In the first Fireside Chat of the year, the eight winners of the FASHION X CRAFT project were presented. The project to promote young designers was launched by the Fashion Council Germany, the Swarovski Foundation and The Prince's Foundation.
For Christiane Arp, Chairwoman of the Fashion Council (of) Germany and jury member at FASHION X CRAFT, this is a matter close to her heart: "Fashion has a global integrative power both as a cultural asset and as an economic factor. It stands for freedom and boundless creativity - values that are more important today than ever before. FASHION X CRAFT creates connections, invites dialogue and is thus another milestone of the Fashion Council Germany."
The winners of the sponsorship program include Alexis Mersmann (HTW Berlin), Jana Heinemann (HTW Berlin), Julia Ballardt and Nico Verhaegen (Royal Academy Antwerp), Mirjam von Mengershausen (Berlin-Weißensee Academy of Art), Philip Kofi Wagner (Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts), Svea Katharina Beckedorf (Central Saint Martins College London) and Taskin Goec (Berlin-Weißensee Academy of Art). On the occasion of the Firesidechat, the industry meeting of the Berlin Fashion Week, the guests could marvel at two looks and short descriptions of the winners:inside each in the entrance area of the Hotel Zoo.
@Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Before the MBFW started, all participants, designers and guests observed a minute of silence to commemorate the victims of the war in Ukraine. The season then opened with the first designer on the runway, Sofia Ilmonen, winner of the new Mercedes-Benz Sustainability Award. The Finnish designer has become known for her feminine and playful designs. Her focus, however, is not only on her craftsmanship, which is evident in the details of her fashion, but also particularly on sustainability and a circular understanding of fashion. With loops as the fastening mechanism of individual pieces, her clothing can be transformed again and again into new forms.
Well-known faces such as Marcel Ostertag, Justin Cassin, Rebekka Ruetz, Kilian Kerner, Esther Perbandt, Danny Reinke, Eli by Elias Rumelis also presented their collections and were able to convince with their patterns and trends for fall/winter 2022/23 and offer interesting impulses.
The show of Jean Gritsfeldt was one of the emotional highlights of the evening. The Ukrainian designer was not able to be there in person due to the war, but nevertheless decided to remain at MBFW as a sign for peace. An initiative of Fashion Revolution and Sustainable Fashion Matterz sewed his newly designed collection at short notice. With an emotional opening performance, air raid alarms and strong messages in the designs, Jean Griftsfeldt's show had a long-lasting effect.
"Fashion unites!" - The opening show on Monday, in cooperation with the industry representative Fashion Council Germany, took place directly in and in front of the Platte.Berlin store. Completely in the style of the capital, Platte presented its designs in an unusual way - the various models showed the designs on treadmills in the large shop windows. Not only the show was an absolute eye-catcher, but also the message towards the Ukraine situation was made clear by Sevil Uguz, founder of Platte. The city of Berlin and Platte.Berlin called for donations for Ukraine and handed out blue and yellow ribbons as a sign of peace and solidarity. Berlin fashion must also be political, and this is one way to get there, says Ann Franke of the Mitte district office, which supports the project. Then on Thursday, Judith Bondy, an up-and-coming designer at Platte, presented six colorful and unusual looks that heralded the arrival of spring.
The third edition of 202030 - The Berlin Fashion Summit, entitled "Regenerative Fashion Systems - Implement Positive Impact", took place from March 15 to 17, 2022, as part of Berlin Fashion Week. For the first time since the launch of the Summit in early 2021, 50 top-class experts met not only digitally but also physically in the Metropolenhaus in Berlin.
On the first day, the Critical Conversation "What's the industry you want?" was one of the highlights. In conversation, speakers Olivia Windham Stewart and Bangladeshi activist Nazma Akhter defined the socio-cultural cornerstones of a (responsible) industry, as many would like to see it.
On Day Two, the "Technology driving local production on demand" discourse by Daniel Ruben of Kornit Digital was compelling, : in which he talked about how on-demand production with mirco-factories in urban spaces could reduce environmental impact.... Another highlight was the Critical Conversation "The positive impact of regenerative agriculture on fashion" with Nishanth Chopra from Oshadi Studio and Aras Baskauskas from Christy Dawn, one of the first labels to bring fallow cotton fields back to bloom through regenerative farming methods.
A highlight of the last day of the Summit was the discourse "Measuring and acting on corporate biodiversity impact", where Christian Dietrich of Sfeeri presented their groundbreaking development of measuring corporate impact efficiently and systematically on biodiversity. Also a way out of the difficult to scale social audits? In the panel talk "EU textile strategy - a Dutch-German perspective", Ingo Strube from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, Ingrid Elbertse from the Fair Wear Foundation, Marije Slump from the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and Rüdiger Fox from Sympatex explained the potentially very influential EU-wide catalog of regulations for supply chains of European companies.
All participants agreed on one point: things can't go on like this. We have finite resources. Change is needed, and fast. At the summit, participants were able to watch the various talks both live and online, and to take part in some of them interactively.
Also live-streamed was a series of short films by the Fashion Open Studio initiative in cooperation with Fashion Revolution Germany, giving transparent insights into design and manufacturing processes by designers committed to sustainable fashion. Labels Melisa Minca, Become A-Ware, Vladimir Karaleev, Anima Protection and many more participated.
At Melisa Minca and Vladimir Karaleev, Berlin Fashion Week guests got the chance to look behind the scenes and engage in dialogue with designers/entrepreneurs. In addition to online events, the Become-A-Ware store in the Schöneberg district offered an upcycling workshop. Participants were able to make something new out of old clothes using paint and cutting techniques.
Then, on March 17, 2022, the label Anima Protection presented their new collection "Cheminio Skonto Obuolys." The two Lithuanian sisters Gintare and Lauryna presented their fashion in the second-hand department store "Noch Mall", in keeping with their sustainability credentials. The rather unusual location was not only included, but also became part of the show. The catwalk was covered with Persian carpets and the audience sat in armchairs from the store. Anima Protection is the perfect example of how fashion also has deep roots with political and social issues. Although the style of their collection was rather feminine, the designers deliberately broke social gender boundaries.
The fashion show ended with an auction. Plush dogs made by Lithuanian children, which served as accessories during the show, were auctioned off. The profit was donated to a good cause. Already during the show, the very opposite and rather innocent accessories attracted a lot of attention. The break of the designs with this innocent toy gave the show an interesting / unusual impression / touch.
A definite highlight was the Marc Cain Runway Show at the Varieté Wintergarten in Mitte. Under the motto "Express Yourself" the German label presented its new fall/winter collection 2022/23 last week. The unique staging was immersed in pink and red tones. In addition to the above motto, the traditional brand Marc Cain made a clear statement at the finale: When the lights were switched on again after a short moment, all 47 models stood together on stage - with open palms on which the peace sign was painted. The song "Russians" by Sting was playing in the background. A clear statement for peace and tolerance - against war and violence.