Since launching in 2007, Berlin Fashion Week is fast becoming as attention grabbing as London, Paris, Milan and New York, as a new generation of designers plays with exciting ideas at the leading edges of creativity. One of the initiatives credited with this surge in fashion talent is the “Swarovski X Vogue Salon”, now in its fourth season. It offers a platform for up-and-coming designers to showcase a special crystal-embellished collection to industry experts and influencers. Four names were selected by editor-in-chief of Vogue Germany, Christiane Arp, together with Nadja Swarovski, and were presented on mannequins at the Crown Prince’s Palace on January 16, giving guests an opportunity to see them up close, as well as talk to the designers.
Having launched in 2014, Greek designer Rianna Konou and German Nina Kuhn, whose label is Rianna + Nina, have quickly established a reputation for divinely colorful one-of-a-kind kimonos made from flamboyant vintage fabrics. However, this collection sees the duo explore the traditional costumes of the Alpine region as they collaborate with Swarovski for the second time, with results that are as full of pattern, color and sparkle as we’ve come to expect from them.
The power of print was again in evidence at the I’VR Isabel Vollrath showcase. The German designer was inspired by close friend Swedish textile artist Sofia Olander to highlight conservation issues with the Water for Elephants collection. Here, her signature sculptural forms were given vibrant life by elephant prints and a brilliant scattering of Swarovski crystals.
Having been part of the design duo Augustin Teboul since 2011, Odély Teboul struck out on her own last year under the name Lou De Bètoly. The French designer made her love of strong color, texture and detail sing out in this collection of elaborately decorated, crystal-embellished, crocheted and knitted casualwear.
Hanover-born William Fan is a master of elegant understatement. He uses his Hong Kong heritage to create a Eurasian interpretation of fashion forms that is simple, ageless, unisex and beautifully functional. For this collection he uses crystal embellishment to accentuate line and provide a light and contemporary dynamic.