Wednesday, July 21, 2010



Tiergarten, Berlin

Words, Images Judith Ecochard

One of the things that put Berlin on the edgy fashion map---is the enormous amount of creativity that is on display and passionately lived--- throughout the city.

Americans we know, who have been to this great metropolis, liken it to NYC in the 80’s---though as we lived in the Big Apple then, we know they mean the artistic/music/fashion/club scene---and not the crime ridden streets, subways that broke down, yada yada yada. Cheaper rents than London, Paris etc----helps too.

Berlin has many fashion schools, and given the casual lifestyle that permeates this very live-able urban environment, the number of emerging designers is enormous.

ESMOD is a top ranked establishment of learning and commands great respect in the industry for its talented student body.

Appropriately, we got a hint of what the July 6th show would offer---as we quickly took in the fascinating DYSFASHIONAL FASHION MEETS ART exhibit (at Haus Der Kuluren Der Welt) ---presenting artistic installations “with the notion and materiality of fashion.”--- by masters of modern attire---Raf Simons, Antonio Marras, Michael Sontag and Sissel Tolaas, Maison Martin Margiela, Hussein Chalayan, Bernhard Wilhelm, & Christophe Hamaide-Pierson, Gaspard Yarkievich & Florence Dolé etc.

Bottom line---whereas NYC is a lot of business with free artistic expressions kept in check (or suffer the major wrath of insta critiques on Twitter)--- when it comes to BERLIN fashion shows/presentations ---we saw a lot of conceptual art pieces on the models …

or perhaps, a political statement that eluded us entirely. Most students did demonstrate their ability to manipulate fabrics, crafting textiles like thick paint on a Van Gogh canvas----the process is as much of the story as the end product.

A rather distinguished panel of judges, headed by Halston’s Art Director Mario Schwab anointed Rike Detscher with an internship in his offices in London (nice).


The Jury Award went to Kathrin Hempel (contemporary men’s separates) and a special distinction mention went to Kerstin Kampa (very wearable and hot hot hot lingerie).

SPECIAL: The opening band the BASEMENT FUNK ORCHESTRA rocked the house with a cool hybrid rap funk hip hop ---with real musicians…not scratching DJs

The Staging: Given that 26 students presented, the models took to the catwalk in more of a tableau vivant format…ending with ESMOD grad, and NY based Selma Starfinger…showing some of her looks.