by Lucia Malanga
Berlin Fashion Week ended today (Sat, Jan 21st) and, featuring an assortment of collections from amazing designers, was key to begin predicting trends for the upcoming global Fashion Weeks as well as within 2023 fashion as a whole. Here is a rundown of my top four favourite collections:
1. NAMILIA AW23: “Cruising Utopia”
The runway looks from NAMILIA were both amazingly gorgeous and interesting to watch. Each look was hypnotizing and the details were simultaneously extraordinary and peculiar.
Make-up choices reflected this weirdness on the runway too through bleached eyebrows, bold eyeliner, and nude lipstick paired with synthetics on some of the models to give them an alien look. The hair was either jet black, platinum blonde or wet. The combination created a mythical siren feel - I was spellbound.
The skirts were the size of belts, the lace was seductive, the spikes were striking, the tight-fitting body suits and each outfit had a motorsport feel to them. NAMILIA’s collection was dripping in seduction and danger.
Each element was seemingly un-unique but the way the designer played with them changed everything. It was really interesting seeing how the shoulder pads were shaped, being curved and pointed at the top. The belts were used as both tops and skirts - some models were even holding belts as handbags, very iconic.
Accessories were not taken lightly either; some of the clothing had chains, included faux fur and in one of the looks they created a skirt which was unexpected and amazing.
The runway looks were marvellous from graphics and bold colours on tees to big and fluffy shoes, this collection was both hot and detailed.
2. Dennis Chuene AW23: “Dennis Who”
Beautifully executed and featuring impressive details, Dennis Chuene made a collection for streetwear lovers that embodied the visuals of Berlin.
The jackets were massive and oversized - perfect for the colder weather. Although this may not seem unique, the collection went further into the details. The majority of the jackets had bandanas as their styling fabric - they were either patched together on top of the fabric, or scrunched fabric was added to the sleeves to give a puffiness.
The jackets also had Dennis Chuene’s initials sewed in on the top right of the jacket with a different bandana fabric and artwork covering the other side. This artwork has a facial outline that is beautifully stitched with different patterns and it is done with a golden lining that blends in beautifully with the jacket. The artwork appears to have faux fur as the eyebrow hair and hair which adds wonderful texture too. White wool is added to the eyes but it is not sewed in neatly; it appears to have been leftover wool refurbished - creating a sustainable look to it. Is environmentalism becoming that mainstream?
Tying together, the trousers had bandana fabric utilised too but contrasting in their fitting. Some of the bottoms were made out of denim fabric but those with more flexible materials allowed pieces to be baggy at the top and skinny at the bottom.
The pockets were oversized and placed in an unconventional place, the thighs. Furthering the aforementioned detailing, pockets were patched with a lighter denim fabric to create a lining.
My favourite look? Denim on denim which had appeared to have had paint spilt on it - but the spilling was curated perfectly. The layering of the paint colours on the dark denim was abstract and intoxicating.
Crochet pieces were distressed to further tie the clothing together without removing the military feel of the whole show. While long jackets had artwork drawn on both sides and the back of the jacket featured massive stitched-in pieces that made the looks both gorgeous and unexpected.
3. Sia Arnica AW23
SIA ARNIKA utilised futurism ironically mixed in with a business-casual nature. It is amazing.
If I were living in a futuristic world these are the outfits I would wear every day to do mundane things. And although they were so dystopian, each outfit had an element of practicality too.
Seeing how the colour pallet does not change or make the outfits look boring was surprising as they stuck to a lot of light pinks, browns, blacks, and silver. These colours work so well and they tie in beautifully, with neon green hints used to draw attention.
In fact, the majority of the looks are monochromatic except for the odd accessory that are allowed to pop - such as shoes or bags.
Items made from mesh, lace and distressed crochet were some of my favourites. It allowed bodies to be the focus of the clothes, rather than the other way around. Almost inexplicably the oversized clothing was weirdly well-fitted to each model - allowing their figures to be a focus point.
A lack of jewellery in this collection was noticeable; our entire focus was on the uniquely paired outfits only. Even given the futuristic nature of the show, the makeup and hair stayed relatively simple and out of the way, contrasting with the futuristic take of NAMILIA
Each look was honestly extraordinary, from oversized jackets and fringe bags to puffy sleeves paired with a tight mini skirt or well-fitting pants.
4. Fassbender AW23: “IDENTITY”
An elegant and minimalist collection. The clothing is neither tight nor baggy - and certainly, nothing could be deemed “over the top”. It embodies simplicity and elegance.
From the collection one notices the gorgeous blazers sewn and designed to give an everyday look. They seem very practical and look so good paired with loose, comfortable pants.
Some of the outfits are layered but you won't notice at first glance as the layering flows with the rest of the outfits. Tops on top of long knee-length collared shirts, or a mid-length skirt flows over pants and a round collar jacket.
Including looks that have chrome: even though the fabric became loud it still looks simple and elegant through the straight cuts and long hems.
The entire runway looks as if they are floating and it is not because some of the pieces include silk. The outfits flow so effortlessly and entice you to look at them: even pictured they give off a relaxed and flowing nature.
Lacking in jewellery, colourful make-up or accessories, your sight is wholly on the clothes and fabric. Once you pay attention you ought to realize sometimes for outfits you do not need to be accessorised heavily as the outfit is beautiful as it is. All you need is the confidence and attitude to make it work - and clothing from Fassbender would certainly help.
Observing the Berlin fashion week I saw some similarities between collections that allowed me to take a stab at trend forecasts. The use of chrome and silver jewellery, oversized bags, oversized jackets and loose-fitting pants were everywhere. This futuristic and dystopian element was everywhere, even in the seemingly minimalistic collections. As always, fashion links to current affairs.
Much less political, mini and maxi skirts are not going anywhere - and what is interesting about this is the way they were styled in various collections; from the Dennis Chuene collection, one notices that the cargo material is staying, from the NAMILIA collection we continue to take inspiration from Diesel in that belts are the new variation of the mini skirt.
There are also a few items that we might see: big boots, long boots, faux fur, distressed crochet, neon colours and patchwork being the main ones to keep your eye on.
These collections were all fun and interesting: every collection had a very unique way of showcasing its designs and I can’t wait to continue following what NAMILIA, Dennis Chuene, Sia Arnica, and Fassbender do next.
Edited by Emily Duff