> Berlin Fashion Week will lose its Bread & Butter – the aptly named trade show for street and urban wear, which was once a leading force but this year fell short of exhibitors. It didn’t come as a surprise, given that since the first Berlin edition in 2003, it’s moved to Barcelona and back and shrunk from eight halls down to one. This is certainly another blow to the rickety image of the overall biannual event, which will go ahead despite not having a permanent home. Its future is uncertain with falling participation from top designers and buyers, lack of state support, and a concept that fails to reconcile premium advertisers (who want to compete with the likes of Paris) and independent labels that are still finding their feet in the scene. Nonetheless, Berlin Fashion Week remains a great platform to promote emerging local talent internationally, and it brings in some much-needed sparkle. The program is split into runway shows, trade fairs, showrooms and parties, some of them being open to the general public. The Mercedes Benz-sponsored runway shows will stage the Autumn/Winter 2015/16 collections by young and established designers in a tent right by Brandenburg Gate. The main focus is on the Berlin-based designers including Lala Berlin, Michael Sontag, Brachmann, Barre Noir and Marina Hoermanseder, whose fetish-inspired work (pictured) has adorned trendy stars such as FKA twigs. There are over ten trade fairs including ‘curvy is sexy’, a plus-size fair; two increasingly popular ecofriendly events, the GREENshowroom and the Ethical Fashion Show, where over 100 brands present sustainable clothing and accessories; Panorama, for avant-garde and sportswear; Premium for exclusive high-value collections; Bright specializing in boardsports; London Edge focusing on punk and goth styles; and Seek for urban wear, mostly for men. The showrooms are smaller events, often with sales and pop-up stores spread across the city, and usually open for all. At the after parties is where guests can shamelessly play VIP, rub shoulders with minor celebrities and show off their frocks.
Berlin Fashion Week Jan. 19–23, various venues SIEGESSÄULE presents: Drag Walk at Berlin’s Night of Fashion Jan. 24, 17:00, Best Western Premier Hotel MOA Berlin