BFW | Berlin Fashion Week SS25: HIGHLIGHTS 1 / 7

BFW | Berlin Fashion Week SS25: HIGHLIGHTS 1 / 7
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CLAUDIA SKODA

Knitwear icon Claudia Skoda opened the summer edition of the BFW as part of the Intervention Showcase. The designer, who has been successful for decades, showcased her intricate knitwear at the Tempodrom and captivated the audience with strong wool ensembles, tube dresses over sequin leggings, and draped Lurex sweaters with extra-long sleeves, presented against a projected retrospective collage. 

Fabrikneu

Since the 1970s, Claudia Skoda has been a symbol of the Berlin underground scene and continues to demonstrate extraordinary creativity, craftsmanship, and masterful technique in 2024. Her creations break with traditional knitting norms and are made from various recycled materials such as Lurex, merino wool, and elastane.

During the wild days of West Berlin punk and the artist commune “Fabrikneu,” she made a name for herself and was supported by icons like David Bowie, who appreciated and wore her innovative designs.

West Berlin’s underground scene

CLAUDIA SKODA is an icon of West Berlin’s underground scene during the 1970s and 1980s. With her sophisticated knitwear designs and spectacular performance-style fashion shows, she generated great excitement in the frontline city. Skoda’s considerable powers of integration allowed her to unite the most diverse creative disciplines.

Her working and living collective ”fabrikneu” in Kreuzberg was a meeting place for West Berlin’s bohemian scene: converging here were creative talents from the realms of music, fashion, painting, film, and photography. But Claudia Skoda is also the doyenne of her chosen metier: the art of knitting, preferably by machine. lnternationally, she is regarded as the ”queen of texture,” and her designs have been called ”knitted genius.”

The magazine Elle placed her alongside Coco Chanel, Mary Qyant, Vivienne Westwood, and Madonna as one of the warnen who shaped the look of the 20th century.

PLNGNS

For the second time in a row, Mitya Hontarenko presented his latest collection for PLNGNS as part of Berlin Contemporary. This season, too, the Kyiv-based designer stays true to his unique concept, consistently showcasing sustainable designs mainly created from recycled sneakers in a patchwork style. 

Sneaker Riot

You presented your runway show at the Lobe Block, a distinctive structure in Berlin’s Wedding district. What influenced your decision to choose this venue?

 We deliberately chose a location that radiates a certain toughness with its straight-lined concrete and at the same time emphasizes the collection. The Lobe Block is therefore the perfect venue for us. 

Your collection is titled “Sneaker Riot”. What stands out in particular?

During the design process, it became clear how much the ongoing war influences us. This applies not only to the colors we used, but also to the styles and cuts. Unconsciously, we have artfully created a variety of vests as well as jackets cut to fit the body. The fact that we see both on a daily basis in the form of body armor and military compression suits seems to have subconsciously influenced us in the process. 

Recycle and Upcycle

While last season was very colorful, the colors this season appear almost oppressive. Why?

The colors used in this collection are inspired by what has surrounded us in the past two years. Colors of mourning and pain: Khaki represents war, brown – the land we are fighting for, and black for the sorrow we experience when we lose a loved one in this war. The colors are hand-painted and effortlessly blend into the collection.

Recycling is part of your brand’s DNA. From sneakers and thermoshirts to swimsuits – all receive a completely new look thanks to innovative new cuts. What fascinates you so much about recycling?

The magic lies in creating something new with something old. Our main concern is always to develop newer, more creative approaches that do justice to the life of the clothing and the materials used. This season, we have decided to forgo experimenting with new materials and have stayed true to our material selection. Our goal was rather to further develop our skills with the fabrics and materials we already use, and to strengthen our expertise in them. 

What role does Berlin Fashion Week play for you as a Ukrainian label?

For us, as participants for the second time, BFW has become a native fashion house that looks after our development and helps to show everything that we have dreamed about for so long and for which we have worked so hard.

A closed cycle of operation

PLNGNS was founded in August 2021 and we are looking for new silhouettes by reimagining existing ones. We take old shoes apart and create something new by reworking parts and giving them a new shape.

PLNGNS compares the process of making such shoes and clothing to painting on a canvas: with elements added as you go, the design can evolve as you go.

“The magic lies in creating something new with something old.”    

Mitya Hontarenko, PLNGNS

The main idea is to scale the brand, with a closed cycle of operation, where we recycle the so-called waste from them, create our own material and create new products from this material. We transform old unsuitable shoes into items of individual design, promoting the sustainable development of fashion and taking care of consumer culture in Ukraine and beyond.

It is important that all our products can have the same design for each product, but different execution details, since all used sneakers that we recycle have their own traces of use and individuality, so our products are always unique 1 of 1.

“Old sneakers don’t need to be burned like trash: We’re showing that there’s another, more creative way out.”

PLNGNS has an environmental advantage: parts of old shoes are used to create new ones, therefore during recycling the process produces virtually no carbon dioxide, and other residues are completely recycled.

Well, here we are and are planning to expand our brand concept in the fashion industry and make our brand model suitable for many brands, thereby turning this “game” around.

LUEDER

As in February, Berlin Contemporary winner Marie Lueder presented her work as part of the Intervention Showcase. With “RUBEDO” the Hamburg native explores the boundaries between form and material. She showcased layered looks featuring boxy print shirts, slim-silhouette transparent mesh dresses, and gradient pants alongside chaps-inspired skirts, metal prints, knee-high socks, and Puma Speedcats. 

Marie Lueder studied Menswear at the renowned Royal College of Arts in London and founded her label in 2019. Since then, she has adhered to a strict philosophy of sustainability, using only organic denim, recycled jersey, and regenerated nylon. Her Fall/Winter 2024 collection, titled “Mono-Myth,” focused on medieval armor and the concept of fashion as a form of protection, garnering significant attention.

Freedom of expression

Marie Lueder started her brand in 2019 as a performance space that explores new male identities. Lueder’s experience working as a tailor at the Hamburg State Opera informed this need for an emotional connection to create customized pieces.

Her collections represent a hybrid linked to sportswear and functional aesthetics, complemented by maniacal attention to sartorial detail, originating in her education as a bespoke tailor mixed with recalling her passion for medieval silhouettes. LUEDER researches medieval armour based on the desire for shielding, freedom of expression, and bringing out their individuality.

LUEDER adds a sustainable attitude to the brand, as it produces using organic denim, recycled jersey, and regenerated nylon. Marie has worked with Yeezy Gap, 6 PM, and as a visiting lecturer at the University of Applied Science in Hamburg. She has recently exhibited at the Vogue Talents event by Anna Wintour at the Pinakothek der Moderne, München (June 2023) and showed her catwalk debut at BFW in January 2024.

MILK OF LIME

On the grounds of a former crematorium, the Silent Green, the Berlin Contemporary winners, the Belgian-German duo Julia Ballardt and Nico Verhaegen, presented their collection for Milk of Lime. This season, they continue to play with contrasts alongside nature-inspired materials such as wool. For instance, they pair a transparent, ruffled chiffon top with wide-cut pants or a delicately knitted midi skirt with a short bomber jacket reminiscent of a cloud.

the “Current”

Your collection is named “Current” and you are thematizing the weather in the broadest sense of a word. What inspired you two?

We found a book in a second-hand shop called ‘Wie es Wetter wird’ translated ‘How the weather will be’. It consisted of illustrations and descriptions of how farmers predicted the weather.

While a lot of looks seemed to be eaten away by the weather, some others were inspired by the wind…

Yes! We worked together with graphic designer and artist Jeroen Van Den Bogaert on three different coats. They each represent a state of the Beaufort scale which measures the wind. Each coat was carefully woven as a beautifully textured cotton jacquard.

What was your highlight look? 

A floor-length silk skirt combined with a graphic t-shirt, which sums up the way of us working together. It is a fragile piece that is carefully handcrafted with lace and silk combined with what essentially could be band merch. It shows the highest and lowest form of clothing, combined in one silhouette.

In your view: What makes Berlin Fashion Week special?

It is the only fashion week, aside from London Fashion Week, that actively provides a platform for young designers to show their work. And that feels very welcoming.

sometimes harsh, sometimes romantic stories

Milk of Lime seeks bridges between the rural and the metropolitan, between the unique and the mundane. We are heavily inspired by natural materials themselves and use them as our starting point for our designs. The textures we source in our surroundings find their way into collaged garments and finely manufactured goods, telling sometimes harsh, sometimes romantic stories.

“Berlin Fashion Week is the only fashion week, aside from London Fashion Week, that actively provides a platform for young designers to show their work. And that feels very welcoming.”

Julia Ballardt und Nico Verhaegen, MILK OF LIME

This contrast forms the mood of Milk of Lime, bringing an ongoing poem about life and afterlife into people’s closet. We design garments for men, women, anyone in-between and beyond — all people who resonate with the refined roughness of Milk of Lime.

Header Image: Milk Of Lime SS25 Backstage by Ben Moenks for BFW

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„Fotografie als Waffe“ lautete der Titel für eine Ausstellung, die KI und Fotografie auf den Prüfstand stellte. Immerhinee drei Tage konnte im @kunstraumkreuzberg über die Wirkung von deepfakes, historischer Fotografie, Dokumentation von Lebenssituationen und Werbefotografie gestaunt und diskutiert werden. Alle Künstler:innen benutzten dabei das digitale eingefangene Bild als zentrales Medium, welches analog zum Ausdruck der eigenen Identität wird. @artweaponphotography #artnow: The current exhibition at the @koeniggalerie showcases a wide variety of critical works and sculptures from artists like JOANA VASCONCELOS, JULIA BELIAEVA, ARMIN BOEHM amongst others. @mothersfinestofficial life concert @lidoberlin at the 28th of April 2024 #rock #funk #concert

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