Berlin may have earned its stripes as the trendiest holiday destination of the last decade, but you could be forgiven for thinking that the German capital’s fashion scene isn’t anything to write
home about. Well, an elite group of designers are looking to defeat that misconception with a little help from the ever burgeoning
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

The capital’s
spring/summer 2012 fashion week line-up provided an answer to many of the trends set elsewhere and even threw in a few of its own. Bold color has been on the fashion
menu for a while now and shows no signs of going off radar. There was hardly a show on the schedule that didn’t make use of a bright hue or two.
Hien Le stuck to a primary mixture of red,
yellow and blue, while Laurel demonstrated the versatility of a zesty yellow.
Schumacher went all out with a palette of paint-pot shades. Alinea Botea and Dawid Tomaszewski stuck to a
more traditional magenta, Blacky Dress fell for a juicy tangerine and
Dimitri had us asking why there isn’t more aquamarine in our wardrobes.

Bananas, monkeys, exploding tropical blooms - print has run wild this summer and continued to do so in Berlin.
Alinea Botea’s show was peppered with a fun dragonfly print and Anja
Gockel presented an entrancingly psychedelic take on traditional florals. A more abstract interpretation of the trend was offered by C’est Tout’s painterly swirls, but if you’re one of those
people for whom bold print induces snow blindness, the designers at BFW have a bold solution: stripes – like the beach-ready ones found at
Anja Gockel.

At the fall/winter 2011 shows in March it became clear that the fetish gear that was once only suitable for steamy underground clubs and
Lady Gaga videos is now being reinterpreted as the
stuff of runway fashion. So where better to reinvent the trend than the city famed for its risqué nocturnal activities.
Augustin Teboul was one designer who steered well clear of color and print,
instead, sticking to the sex appeal of an all black collection and making use of fish nets, jack black beading and lace.
Teboul’s vision might have relied upon the stereotype of the cool,
somber Berliner, but there was also a sense of femininity and romance about it thanks to chiffon layers and delicate fringing. Accessories designer
Celia Czerlinski was quick to use to the
fetish trend to her advantage, displaying her handmade belts on models as if they were harnesses.  While
Don’t Shoot The Messengers’ spring/summer 2012 output also followed a
raunchy theme. Dresses and blazers were finished with a sexy leather trim and designers
Jen Gilpin and Kyle Callanan experimented with peek-a-boo panels and sheer fabrics.

Closely bound up with the fetish references that appeared on the Berlin runway was a more unexpected trend. One of the most popular looks of the week was an athletic take on the lingerie
trend that was all the rage a few seasons back. At
Allude, girls wore delicate silk cami knickers pumped up by the addition of simple white cotton headband and a zip up hoodie. The
essential key to pulling off this look is confidence. Show off those delicates, but pair them with some savvy athletic wares. Pair the prettiest lace trimmed silk shorts with a loose fitting jersey
tee or sweatshirt and some nonchalant jewelry (the models at Allude wore very simple, long string of pearls) and you’ve got this trend down for spring/summer 2012.

Acid hues, psychedelic print, leather and lingerie aside, if there’s one thing Berlin fashion week taught us it’s the power of the understated silhouette. While we may still be in the grip of
body con cling the Berliners have, unsurprisingly, bucked the trend. A more casual, slouchy silhouette was spotted at almost every show. Take note: slouchier, not scruffier.  
Eva & Bernard
showcased a collection that was loose fitting and organic whilst still refined - even the show stopping gowns at
Schumacher were body skimming. The silk may be billowing and the
tailoring more androgynous, but Berlin’s young designers are still en pointe. Their new silhouettes are refreshing, understated and very cool, much like Berlin itself.
By Isabella Redmond Styles
The Best of
Berlin Fashion
Spring 2012
New York, London, Paris and Milan better watch
out because there’s a new fashion capital about.