Salon-Fresh Berlin Fashion Week

Hot from the select in-store Christmas showcase at Austria’s most exclusive fashion boutique Sagmeister, three Swarovski-supported Vogue Salon stars were applauded down the ever-more exciting Berlin Fashion Week runway in January: Tim Labenda, René Storck and Marina Hoermanseder were joined by fellow salon member William Fan at the Kronprinzenpalais. There, they demonstrated how Germany’s advance wave is storming the world of fashion. Berlin is increasingly recognized for its diverse fashion spectrum. There’s high-end couture, of course, but you’ll also find that niche markets such as “sustainable fashion” and “smart wearables” are a mainstream consideration among the city’s next-generation design talent.

Dedicated to the handcrafted and sustainable approach is the menswear creative director of eco-lifestyle brand HessNatur, and International Woolmark Prize Europe Final 16/17 winner, Tim Labenda. Adding thick fringing to a sharply tailored tux and transparent fabrics, his runway showed how perfectly heavily textured wool can work with more traditionally glam elements, such as statement-size crystal cuts.

Innovative materials that sit beautifully with classic tailoring to create an ageless, sexless, uniform-like silhouette are what define William Fan’s language. In a style departure for SS17 he showed knits for the first time, brilliantly embellished with whimsical tufts of crystals and feathers. Staying with precision cutting, it’s always a delight to see René Storck demonstrating his exemplary skills as a trained tailor. His supremely wearable classicism has, once again, seduced its audience, but this time he has done it with a little assistance from a cascade of geometric crystals.

Someone who hasn’t lost any of her Berlin edge and is on a meteoric rise, dressing the likes of Kylie Jenner and Katy Perry, is Marina Hoermanseder. That signature leather strapping and sculpted Plexiglass, with all the luster of the city’s shady, sexy heart, has shed some of its fetish inspiration to enjoy the gentle pleasures of softer cuts and a daytime palette. However, a dazzlingly dark heart remains in a gleaming carapace of crystal pearls and a powder blue Plexi bustier.