Today started a bit earlier – The Michael Sontag show at 10 am. I almost didn’t make it to this show, but I’m glad I did. His clothes are deceptive in their simplicity. A loose and somewhat boxy silhouette from the front would show a surprisingly complex cut and draping in the back. Sontag, a native Berliner has interned at Kenzo and you can see Kenzo’s initial kimono inspiration in this collection but it is clearly Michael Sontag’s own vision.
The Smeiliner show was about color, color and more color: hot pink and orange, turquoise and red came down the runway one after the other on dresses, and leggings and several printed scarves worn on the head giving the impression of peasants or gypsies but in Technicolor. The designer, Mischa Woeste states that she looks for traditional fabrics to combine in new ways to give it a new context. Her collection definitely succeeds in that and is made for a woman unafraid to stand out in a crowd.
My final show of the day was Je Suis Belle, a label created by two young Hungarians, Dalma Dévényi and Tibor Kiss. I had an opportunity to speak with them before the show and they told me their work was infused with personal nostalgia. When I asked them what that meant Tibor responded “Like when you were a child, riding your bike alone through a black forest and your own fondness of that memory”…hmmm would my memories of playing Galaga at the 7-11 inspire a collection? But when I saw their collection with its delicate but rich colors I could feel this sense of nostalgia. They also collaborated with a well known Hungarian painter, Attila Szucs. Four of his works were printed on the fabrics and the silhouettes were formed to emphasize the paintings: airy, loose, slightly deformed and effortless. The prints define the colors used on blouses and dresses: brownish grey, pale green, green turning into black and pinkish mauve.
Their collection wasn’t shown at Bebelplatz but at the nearby Collegium Hungaricum Berlin. Since the room they were showing in was relatively small they also had a projection playing in a large window. The effect of seeing the models larger than life with the life size silhouettes of the photographers was stunning and allowed all passer-bys to experience the show. They’ll be having a showing at the ICP during next fashion week New York so watch for them.
After the Je Suis Belle show was over I went back to my apartment just long enough to change to go to a party hosted by Projektgalerie at the Roadrunner’s Rock & Motor Club. A cavernous space indoors, it also has a courtyard where there were several video projections going on all night and constantly changing live acts. However the most interesting “performance” had to be an older gentleman (in his 60s would be my guess) wearing a hat and some kind of delicate chain around his waist and nothing else. He was at the party for several hours and everyone acted as though his attire –or lack thereof- was perfectly normal. I found it amusing and another contrast to the U.S. where there is no way he’d be allowed in anywhere. Well, one more official day left…