berlin fashion week: laurèl
(images via mbfwb)
aaaand…just like that, quick as you like, we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface in our discussions of berlin fashion week, and the event is already closed. i can scarcely believe it, either, but there were some very good collections to behold, and, as i’ve no doubt you’re aware, we’ll probably be spending some good time in the days ahead sifting through them all (yes, sigh). so with that, let’s turn our attention to the f/w 2013 range of designer elisabeth schwaiger’s laurèl, yes?
or perhaps i ought first take a moment to clarify that even though the house has been seen gracing the runways of mbfwb for some seasons now, at opt we’ve only been looking closer since last season (s/s 2013), for, as i think i’ve said somewhere rather recently, i was initially more apprehensive of generally ‘pretty/feminine’ clothes as ms. schwaiger presents, that which would appeal to a lot of different types of modern women, but maybe don’t possess the kind of, say, vintage flair or gimmicky details that used to be the only things to really make my heart run.
but okay, i don’t want things to get convoluted, and anyway, it’s not about me, so let’s get back on point. and so. as amica pointed out, the regular laurèl slogan is ‘see, feel, love,’ and i’d definitely argue that was on point for the upcoming season, with plenty of flirtatiously feminine silhouettes and juxtapositioning of some very intriguing textures. i think we could probably argue that there was a bit of a riff on the sixties running throughout, as well, although the designer kept things pretty contemporary, as she’s wont to do.
anyway, the winter collection was titled ‘moonwalk,’ and, as vogue helpfully explained, that meant (trans.) “(s)harp silhouettes, clear cuts and sculptural cuts characterize the designs that are inspired in large measure by the futuristic buildings of the architect Zaha Hadid. The baptizing of the title ‘Moonwalk’ on the collection was as an expression of the views of new urban environments - based on modern cities like Sydney, Singapore and Miami, to reflect with the aim of architecture and the atmosphere of the cities.”
interestingly enough, we’ve seen the architect’s work inspiring fashion houses before—mostly in ukraine (svetlana bevza & olena przhonskaya), but also at chanel (at least a bit) for the s/s 2012 season. i mention that largely because i always love to track over time the way a specific theme can manifest so differently in various designers’ work. and, interestingly enough, i’d say compared especially with the former two collections (which had more direct correlations to the same inspiration), i’d say without a doubt ms. schwaiger’s was both the softest and the most romantic.
ahem. anyway, as vogue carried on, we witnessed items like (again, trans.) “(e)gg-shaped coats, oversize sweaters, blouses and sporty nylon jackets. Sequined gowns, two-piece suits and wool cigarette pants. A multitude of dresses and influences adds up to a sophisticated collection. The colour palette alternates between black and white and with this, bright red, orange and blackberry. Metallic elements such as lurex yarn, sequins and coloured fur offer a futuristic touch.”
and while a lot of the sites seemed to want to hone in on the more provocative elements, as the german site erdbeer lounge noting the (trans.) “cute peplums, leg slits and sexy cut-outs,” i was drawn more to the versatility of the range, which included a nice selection of options for the season, whether it be in terms of a lovely, tailored double-breasted knee-length lavender coat trimmed with fur at the collar, or a refined (and just the right bit of slouchy) tomato red suit paired with (a rather shocking colour team-up, i must say, though i believe the gamble paid off) a valentine-pink silk blouse (which indeed feels perfectly occasion-appropriate at the moment).
finally, though, i think the german site styleranking got it just right in summing things up, so i’ll let them finish us off (trans.): “Laurèl needs finesse, pure, delicate fabric and a few neat elements to make beautiful, immaculate business and evening accentuating clothes. They seem light, intergalactic, futuristic and yet real…The volume variance, the very subtle sportiness, fresh pink, sometimes a peplum and some asymmetric, running into each other and let each other merge into a pattern, the collection in some places seems so refreshingly easy and casual. And yet accustomed, precise, perfect and poignant.”
(enjoy the full show video here)
berlin fashion week: basler
(images via mbfwb)
each season, it seems without fail we’ve yet another handful of designers descending upon us at berlin fashion week, making the event ever-growing (and increasingly overwhelming opt, but never mind that part), leaving me to wonder to some extent if the city will be the first to finally breach the walls of that tight quartet of “fashion cities”: new york, milan, london, and paris, or if perhaps it is just coming into its own, and expanding with the kind of zeal for fashion those in moscow appear to have, granting us ever-more shows, and they’ll be damned whether the rest of the world cares for it, or no.
and ultimately, i guess, to me too, it doesn’t really matter. what does matter is that i once found berlin a little dull compared to the spice and verve everyone appeared to want to toss around about its daring art world, what with all the apparent adventurousness than (unfortunately) felt a little too rare in the fashion. but not so any more. no, instead it seems that the depth and breadth of the event has expanded to the point at which practically everyone gets something (at least) of what they’re looking for.
there also appears to be (again, by my count, at least) a lot more humour in the mbfwb lineup than we’d seen, say, four or five years ago, when it was filled mainly with prim houses designing sharp and classical (but maybe not particularly avant-y, as we tend to think of, say, japan fashion week in tokyo, and want out of berlin, seeing as above, once again), so that when we encounter labels like basler, and their f/w 2013 range (the first opt has spoken of the house to date, though they’ve shown their s/s 2012 collection at the event as well), i think we can all appreciate the playful element.
as ever though—and as ever still disappointing to me—is the fact that the press hasn’t really caught up with the new fashion push in berlin, and we still come up quite short when looking for background information on many a label (save, maybe, those most popular, or featuring the biggest models, though you’d think maybe the likes of caroline winberg and erin o’connor here would have done something, alas), which may be something of a cop-out for me in explaining why i tend to drag my feet a bit whilst writing about berlin, or maybe it’s just an explanation about all the waiting and meandering.
but! i am sorry, and i will try to narrow things down to the point at hand. so. for the upcoming winter, basler designer brian rennie exhibited his wares at the hotel de rome, explained the german site für sie, while seemingly playing with equal parts true luxury (this would be in those magnificent, beaded and embroidered gowns, such as a sweeping v-necked version worn by ms. winberg in a dazzling scarlet shade) or wink-y bling (as in the form of a blindingly pink chubby) that took itself as playfully as the rest of the range did itself seriously.
anyway, the collection was entitled—again, in quite the clever little touch—‘james bond glamour girls,’ explained amica, and i guess from that we’re also supposed to see how all those lavish, retro, and (i really hate to say the word, but sometimes it was appropriate) tacky elements melded together into one presentation. after all, what are bond girls if not a little of each of these (generally speaking, of course)? and in an interesting turn, the site also pointed out that the collection kind of doubled as a (trans.) “tribute to Russia,” which i guess i don’t completely understand, but whatever. we do see a lot of houses trying to mine the country for its wealth, so…
ahem. anyway. carrying on, they reflected that we were awash in predictably lush materials—rabbit fur, jersey, lambswool, metallics, tweed, leather, and velvet—and of course plenty of decorative elements such as glitter, beading, embroidery, and sequins. and i have to say i really did like the palette, which included some colour to the base of black, but still kept things on a more autumnal keel (save maybe for the neon pink) in lieu of the springlike shades so many houses are nowadays pushing on us year-round: merlot, khaki, metallic gold and silver, slate, aubergine, and cherry.
meanwhile (and in case you couldn’t already thus far tell), mr. rennie’s style is characterized by feminine aspects, the german site fashion insider informed us, adding that they saw equally modernist elements and pieces that were throwbacks to the sixties, but i’d argue that we saw some vague allusions to the german kabarett period of the thirties, as well (what with all of the metallics and dramatic evening gowns). but i won’t argue with the mod allusions, which were definitely strong in some of the graphic geometric prints, little shift dresses, and structured outerwear. i’d also like to point out that while we saw some louche, fluid thirties draping, architectural elements were a bit part of the story, as well.
in the end, though i quite liked the feel of the collection, and that mr. rennie clearly doesn’t take himself too seriously, liked that there was a good variety (between the dresses, trousers, gowns, and outerwear), if i were to venture a complaint, it might be that: does everything have to be so jazzed-up? true, i’m a definite proponent of more formal dressing for everyday on the whole (seriously, i’m a strong believer that unless one works in, say, a gym, sweatpants should never be part of a work ‘look’), but all the same, i wouldn’t have minded a least a couple of kind of ‘winding down’ outfits. but that’s a small matter, and as for the rest, i’d say it was stunning. it’s just too bad most of us don’t have more places to wear such flash floor-skimming evening gowns, right?
(check out a short collection video here)