Design

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Berlin Dispatch: Goodbye to the catwalk at Berlin Fashion Week

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The temperature may have dropped to a Baltic minus 9, but that didn’t chill the atmosphere in Berlin last week. Since Berlin Fashion Week first opened it’s doors in 2007, the fashionable elite have been flocking to Europe’s creative capital to experience a four-day trade event like no other.

In Berlin, fashion week isn’t about big brands, swanky parties or runway extravaganzas. Instead, experimentation and accessibility are the buzzwords as designers explore new ways of previewing their collections. They want to sell their lines, but they're aware that buyers need to interact with the clothes to do this, so salon shows, fashion films and even a 3D printed collection were the go-to events.

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Lala Berlin

Lala Berlin are one example of a deviation away from the traditional runaway. They chose instead, to present their collection with a short film running at various times throughout the week. Filmed by Berlin photographer Jonas Lindström, the short teased audiences with a sneak peek of the collection's key items. In a few weeks the collection will make its runway debut at Copenhagen Fashion Week, but in Berlin - a city famed for it’s underground art scene - this fashion film proved to be the perfect experimental precursor.

Likewise, Michael Michalsky chose to present his high-end label MICHALSKY in a never-seen-before manner. The former Adidas’ Worldwide Creative Director put together an exhibit which showcased his couture being worn by 15 miniature 3D printed mannequins, including one of himself.

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Michael Michalsky's 3D printed mannequins

With runway shows costing so much and allowing relatively little interaction between designer and buyer, these shared spaces - available to everyone - make a lot of sense. Concept stores such as Happy Shop Global Alliance were open as a meeting space during the days, allowing designers such as Bobby Kolade to interact with fashion editors, reporters and stylists. In the evenings the shop hosted small-scale parties that attracted attention from publications such as Italian Vogue. This relaxed and momentary approach to fashion week allowed the most important people to get a hands-on look at up and coming designers, rather than the usual fleeting glimpses on a catwalk.

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Happy Shop Global Alliance Berlin

Also in town were the three leading trade shows of Berlin Fashion Week: Panorama Berlin, Show & Order and Seek. Between them they hosted over 500 contemporary brands from all over the world.

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SEEK Berlin

Berlin is a city that can seem cold and inaccessible from the outset; especially when temperatures drop below the freezing mark. But Berlin Fashion Week proved that innovation radiates throughout the icy air here, connecting creativity like nowhere else.

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