looking to the future | berlin fashion week aw24 round up

photography. Maxine Stiller

Another Berlin Fashion Week (BFW) season has been and gone – but it definitely didn’t go unnoticed. Over four fashion-filled days, the capital of Germany came to life, with editors, influencers, and buyers flooding the city, looking for the next best thing. MARKE, Olivia Ballard, SF1OG, Sia Arnika, Richert Beil, and LD-13 were just a few of the brands making waves within the Berlin fashion scene.

Weaving through the chaos backstage, photographer Maxine Stiller captured the aura of each show perfectly – calling attention to each brand’s distinct style.

As the final part of a three-part cycle, MARKE’s latest collection, “Allezeit bei mir” (“Always with me”) acts as a compelling continuation of creative director Mario Keine’s work. While the colour palette is accordant with previous seasons – featuring navy, white, and blush alongside grey and taupe – the brand showed hand-painted prints for the very first time. Classic hourglass silhouettes reminiscent of 1950s couture complemented girlish prairie collars whilst heavy wool and cashmere outerwear – made from overstock and deadstock sourced from Italian manufacturers – were juxtaposed against the airier fabrics. Believing that every moment forms a collection of silent memories, Keine was moved by the past to design for the future. 

Native New Yorker Olivia Ballard has always explored the body through her designs, and her newest collection, “Le Lit” (“The Bed”), does just that. Ballard explored longing, sensuality, and solitude, all of which are embodied through a bed. Outerwear was reminiscent of duvets; dresses reminiscent of crumpled bed sheets; tops reminiscent of pillows. The latter – whether intentional or not – referenced the hotel pillow look Bianca Censori wore in Italy last summer. The cashmere and silk woven throughout the collection were equally as inviting. Towards the end of the show, the idea of lucid dreams was explored through recycled and reworked garments with ethereal draping and refined knot detailing.

Set in the Ernst-Reuter-Gymnasium, SF1OG’s runway show took spectators back to school, seating them on school chairs and surrounding them with chalkboards, desks, and, of course, apples. Inspired by school life in East Germany, creative director Rosa Marga Dahl put her own spin on school uniforms, designing layered pleated skirts, extra-long ties, and uneven striped shirts. Backpacks and leather satchels were just a few more accessories that added to the ambience. 90s tunes blared from speakers, transporting the audience back in time, but Dahl made it clear that she was thinking about the future within her work, creating with quality materials and valuing expert craftsmanship.

Sia Arnika works in constant juxtaposition. Disarray complemented ornamentation; mundane complemented provocative; layering complemented shaping. The brand’s latest collection called on a new Sia Arnika woman, one that owns her sensuality and harnesses it, drawing in those around her. Deeply influenced by the performances of silent film star Asta Nielsen, each look transformed the model into a walking reference of various roles Nielsen played. Her character in ‘Hamlet’ was realised as androgynous flare whilst her character in ‘The Abyss’ translated as seductive and sensual throughout the collection. 

Celebrating 10 years of Richert Beil, creative directors Jale Richert and Michele Beil revisited the brand’s past – and the atmosphere of the show was nothing short of a good party. The “Heritage” collection, which revisited designs from their debut collection, highlighted traditional German heritage and grandmother-esque details. Nostalgic hits reverberated around the space as a diverse range of models donned tailored suits and cardigans adorned with pearls, heirloom necklaces, and brooches. Regenerated pieces made from recycled horse gear, vintage shapewear, and antique laces became the brand’s ‘Treasure Hunt’ pieces, which brought a feeling of exclusivity to the collection.

For LD-13’s first time showing at Berlin Fashion Week, designer Lisa Deurer knew she needed to make a splash – and that she did. Her newest collection, WARDROBE CHESS, puts emphasis on seasonless womenswear and unisex pieces. Asymmetrical silhouettes, pointed shoulder pads, and casual suiting were the epitome of quiet luxury, whilst bold pops of red, papier-mache-esque bodycon tops, and crinolines screamed for your attention. The brand, which was founded in New York City in 2021, has truly allowed spectators to catch a glimpse of visionary style. 

As the world moves on to the next fashion week, the brands that showed at BFW have left a lasting impression on the city, and industry – foreshadowing a future filled with thoughtful and talented designers.

photography. Maxine Stiller
words. Amber Louise

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