The Insider Guide to Berlin Fashion Week

We present a rundown of unmissable highlights from this year's BFW, which holds a special place in the hearts of us Berliners, despite its detractors.

Despite Berlin’s creative potential and the vehement efforts of the German Fashion Council, Berlin Fashion Week is still — sadly — universally regarded as an unremarkable event. Indeed, the Fashion Week does have a number of unresolved issues. The main problem is that German designers who manage to attract international attention (Serhat Isik of GmbH is the most recent example) opt for showing at the more recognised venues, like Paris or London. Already in its 21st season, the Fashion Week is still struggling to define itself. And though its schedule is usually replete with events on fashion tech and sustainability, it never summons the courage to declare that its focus is on innovation.

Harsh criticism aside, however, among the many events on the schedule — of varying quality and relevance — it’s always possible to find to unearth a handful of outstanding, well-curated gems. Gladly, the forthcoming edition is offering more of these than ever before.

BOTTER

Don’t miss the BOTTER fashion show tomorrow (3rd July). In the year since its official launch, the Antwerp-based label conceived by Rushemy Botter and Lisi Herrebrugh, has received accolades from both the Hyères festival in France and the prestigious LVMH Prize. The menswear label, with its effortless combination of conceptual depth and casual elegance is sure to kick-start Fashion Week with a bang.

Marina Hoermanseder

The show by Vogue darling Marina Hoermanseder is traditionally one of the main attractions of Berlin Fashion Week. Hoermanseder’s works oscillate between elegant femininity and subversive eccentricity. She is also one of the few Berlin-based designers whose fame stretches far beyond Germany: Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj are among her fans.

Fashion Conference by ZEIT Magazin and Vogue Germany

The biannual conference is the event that frequently puts Berlin Fashion Week on the world-fashion map. With an array of talks from leading industry players — this year’s must-sees are Grace Wales Bonner and Serhat Isik — make sure you don’t miss this underrated BFW gem. 

Berliner Salon

Held at Berlin’s historic Kronprinzenpalais, the Berliner Salon’s group exhibition on 6th July aims to assert our beloved Deutschland as an epicentre of modern design. Featuring work from everyone from Dawid Tomaszewski and König Souvenir, the display, carefully curated by Vogue Germany, is sure to be a (rightly) self-confident showcase of German fashion.

Hugo Boss

One year ago, Hugo Boss— with Jason Wu still at its helm — presented the brilliant Gallery collection at St. Agnes, a series of clean-cut, vibrantly coloured dresses inspired by Berlin’s art scene. This time the brand is returning to Berlin Fashion Week with no creative director, but its forthcoming show, nevertheless, is one of the biggest intrigues of this year’s edition.

Lutz Huelle at Halle am Berghain

In a nod, perhaps, to Berlin’s notorious nightlife, every fashion week one show is presented at Berghain. This time around, the Fashion Council has chosen womenswear designer par excellence Lutz Huelle, and what an excellent choice this was. German-born Huelle earned his fashion stripes training under Martin Margielabefore launching his eponymous label in 2000. Here, his deconstructivist take on fashion brilliantly captures Berlin’s ‘anything goes’ approach to style. 

Greenshowroom

The forthcoming fashion week puts emphasis on sustainability with a series of talks on ethics and sustainability under the aegis of Greenshowroom. The organisers promise to turn Berlin’s Kraftwerk — their venue — into “the place to be for sustainable innovations in fashion”. We advise you to check out the Ethical Fashion show and the talk on cultural appropriation.

William Fan

Hong Kong-born designer William Fan is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most original voices on the German fashion scene. Despite the deceptively simple appearance of his designs, Fan’s collections represent a complex mélange of Eastern and Western influences, combining references from his native country with ’90s pop culture.

Heartbreak Berlin & Highsnobiety

Mere weeks after his menswear debut at Louis Vuitton, Virgil Abloh, the Renaissance man of our time, will be DJ-ing at 808 Berlin on Budapester Strabe for the Fashion Week closing party. What’s to add?

 

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