Last night saw German brand Hugo Boss return to its roots with a pulsating SS19 mens and womenswear show for its youthful “little brother” label Hugo, presented during Berlin Fashion Week. The event was held at Motorwerk, a vast industrial hall, once home to some of the capital’s most riotous techno nights, which lent a quintessentially “Berlin” atmosphere to the proceedings. This was entirely intentional — the collection, entitled “Mixmasters”, was “influenced by the creative energy and eclectic street style of Berlin”, drawing on the city’s fondness for a DIY approach to dressing.
There was certainly a mix and match approach at play — woollen suits and oversized linen jackets were paired with synthetic neon sports jerseys or technical silk shirts, while Lycra cycling shorts and bathing suits, and retro colourblock tracksuits were a clear nod to the ‘90s rave scene. More subtle details like the graphics adorning the men’s T-shirts, apparently “based on Berlin walls plastered with club posters”, proved harder to pick up on, and it was the bolder statements — in particular the men’s acid-washed, double denim combo in highlighter yellow — that made the biggest impression.
The carefully cultivated techno club atmosphere — flashing lights, throbbing music — and a contagiously energetic performance from rap star Wiz Khalifa immediately after the show’s finale certainly made for a captivating experience (although the guest appearance felt like somewhat of a genre clash). But it was the cast of cool and characterful faces — including acclaimed New York model, Binx Walton — that proved most integral to the show’s success. By effortlessly bringing their own personalities to the familiar street- and workwear garments, they gave an unadventurous but undeniably on-trend collection a much needed edge. A well-stocked after party in the venue’s courtyard — where guests lounged on Casper mattresses elegantly mounted on wooden pallets — and DJ sets from Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann, DJ Hell and Ellen Allien meant that guests could journey seamlessly from the dance floor to the desk in true Berlin style.