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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin meets ELLE and DER BERLINER MODE SALON.

Berlin style meets up-and-coming international designers: Hyères prize winner Wataru Tominaga and DER BERLINER MODE SALON.
Photos: Markus Nass

A city shows its true colours.

During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, the capital lights up with vibrant, trendsetting fashion – both on the catwalk and in the audience. Berlin’s version of the international fashion spectacle continues to grow in an appealing way and is developing a style and voice of its own in the international fashion scene. This development can be attributed to the targeted encouragement of newcomers from both home and abroad.

In this year’s spotlight: two graduates of London's Central Saint Martins college, who are each in their own way breathing new life into the world of haute couture.

A celebration of colour and cut.

Bright star number 1: this year’s winner of the Grand Prix du Jury at the Festival of Fashion and Photography at Hyères, Wataru Tominaga, whose extraordinary, bold, and optimistic designs made the Mercedes-Benz and ELLE show at the Erika Hess ice stadium such an inspirational event. “I want to have a bit more imagination in clothes”, the 28-year-old explains, underlining his ambition on the catwalk with the help of illustration, painting or flock printing, which is rather reminiscent of splattered oil paint. It feels as though a whole art school is on parade here, captured in expressive designs that give their bodies completely new contours. The expert audience is overwhelmed by the intensity, exquisite tailoring and rich texture delivered by the young virtuoso.

Strength in unity: DER BERLINER MODE SALON.

Beyond the central Fashion Week location, the rest of Berlin fashion is going from strength to strength too. At the BERLINER MODE SALON, a project initiated by German VOGUE editor-in-chief Christiane Arp, 40 designers provide proof that home-grown talent certainly has no need to hide its light under a bushel. The event provides a stage for those designers who prefer showing their collections as part of a private-group presentation.

Among those exhibiting at the Kronprinzenpalais are such established masters of the art as Dorothee Schumacher, Escada, Lala Berlin, and Vladimir Karaleev, but also exciting newcomers like accessories label Early, and, as a special surprise, twin sisters Felder Felder from London.

Designer duo: Felder Felder.

This internationally successful “reimport” to Germany is presented exclusively by Mercedes-Benz: specifically for DER BERLINER MODE SALON, Annette and Daniela Felder have designed a six-piece capsule collection that perfectly epitomises their German-British mix of styles. With a focus on sustainability, the sisters have transformed a range of organic and recycled materials into glamorous evening dresses that encapsulate the feminine-expressive Rock’n’Roll chic of the British Fashion Awards and Bunte New Faces Award winners. A successful addition to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – and further wonderful proof of the effectiveness of strategic talent promotion.

Too soon to draw conclusions? Not really.

These are just two examples of material excellence, but it’s still possible to draw a clear line between the big shows and improvised fringe events such as this: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin is not a platform for flimsy, lightweight fly-by nights, but for self-confident, quirky design that carries the indomitable and light-hearted spirit of this city within it. Never exaggerated, narcissistic or vain, but always laid-back and full of character. That this can prove appealing is evident in the list of buyers in attendance, with stores like Luisa Via Roma, Harvey Nichols London, mytheresa, Net-A-Porter, KaDeWe, The Corner and Breuninger sending their experts to size up the current line-up of Berlin-based designers.

der berliner mode salon, Fashion week berlin

That this can prove appealing is evident in the list of buyers in attendance, with stores like Luisa Via Roma, Harvey Nichols London, mytheresa, Net-A-Porter, KaDeWe, The Corner and Breuninger sending their experts to size up the current line-up of Berlin-based designers.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin meets Elle and DER BERLINER MODE SALON

Mercedes-Benz Fashion @ Social Media: Exclusive Insights.

The “Mercedes-Benz Fashion” Instagram channel presents curated and high-quality insights into the world of fashion. With Twitter, Snapchat, and Periscope, followers are offered exclusive behind-the-scenes views into selected Mercedes-Benz Fashion engagement projects. The relevant hashtags are: #mbfw #mercedesbenzfashion. All images are available here.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion on Instagram.

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