Just wrapping its third season, the Berlin Showroom is a Senate led initiative created to support and showcase emerging and established German-based fashion designers to international press and buyers. It started in 2007 with an idea to offer conjoined spaces for approximately 10 designers to show their collections at various fashion fairs – Tranoi, Capsule, Rendez-Vous – but in 2013, the Senate came up with the concept of doing its own presentation to showcase the best of German fashion outside of Berlin, thus the Berlin Showroom was born.
Arne Eberle, Head of International PR for the project, explained the designers are selected by a jury of 11 fashion professionals including journalists, stylists, buyers, a member of the Senate, and the Editor In Chief of German Vogue. Through a voting process, they determine who will represent the best of Berlin fashion in the showroom during Paris Fashion Week. The criteria to be chosen include: having a unique selling point, professional background and a very special way of working/expression through design.
The7eme stopped by the Showroom last week to look at the collections and chat with a few of the designers.
HOWL by Maria Glück
HOWL provides gender-bending design with a conscious twist. This Berlin based designer looks all over the world for unique, sustainable fabrics to create her collection. But don’t label her off in the sustainable category; she is a designer first and foremost. She enjoys working with newer materials such as flattened cork that feels like leather from Portugal, recyclable materials, or organic cotton and silk from overseas. It should be no surprise that her inspiration for her collections comes from observing nature. She even goes as far as creating her own fabric with original prints from her nature sightings. Even though sustainability is still growing, she is hoping to collaborate with fabric manufacturers to create more sustainable fabrics for her future collections.
“Sustainability is my way of doing fashion, but I’m interested in design.” – Maria Glück
Franzius is a label that strives to give women the possibility of dressing from morning to night, and everything in-between. Incorporating colorful and edgy, youthful pieces alongside more elegant muted colored garments, there are many options for the extrovert and introvert alike. At its base, the brand is a very architectural pattern with a developed cut and structure. Rather than build her collections around a fixed concept, owner Stephanie Franzius, collaborates with an artist each season to develop an iconic print that is weaved throughout each collection’s many layers.
“I always have an icon I’m trying to reach with the collection. You can see I always have a strong image, which comes to the surface in the print.” – Stephanie Franzius
The Tiedeken woman exudes cool. She is a self-confident, nonconformist who wears what she wants, with little concern about global trends. The label is clearly a reflection of the brand’s owner and former assistant to Vivienne Westwood, Regina Tiedeken, who explained that she and her partner, Tom Keller, don’t operate within the confines or pressures placed upon them by the fashion system. They simply have fun with it and produce the collections with an attitude that enhances creativity, rather than stifles it. The label is categorized by high quality knits and strong graphic pattens, all of which is produced fairly in Europe. Titled Chromatic Flow, the A/W 14-15 collection was inspired by Japanese drawings and the bias-cut pattens of legendary French Fashion designer, Madeleine Vionnet. In addition to producing seasonal collections, the brand also does costume design for film, which Regina incidentally fell into after Westwood declined an opportunity and passed it on to her.
“Creativity has so much to do with having a good flow. You really have to have fun to do this.” – Regina Tiedeken
Concis, a new womenswear brand based in Berlin, focuses on elegance, femininity and strives to be classic. By using fluid, quality fabrics, designer Hoai Vo uses a draping technique to shape her collection and fill it with special details throughout. Her inspiration is a process that flows and grows with each new piece and continues to the next collection. The future for Concis is focused on men. With the current collection already featuring some unisex and menswear pieces, the designer is excited to expand upon this in a new menswear adventure. Whether man or woman, Concis wants you to be happy in their clothes.
“My clothes don’t change the woman, but makes her more beautiful and confident.” – Hoai Vo