When looking at fashionable European cities for sartorial inspiration, forget Paris (for the moment, anyway), and look to Berlin. The city is becoming known for its epic street style, perhaps due in part to a recent influx of formerly New York-based artists, who now reside in the German capital.
While Fashion Week is still a couple of months away for New Yorkers, you can feast your eyes on the best of Berlin’s runways right now. Here's a look at our favorite labels from last week’s shows, below.
It comes as no surprise that Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj are fans of Berlin-based designer Marina Hoermanseder—one look at her imaginative pieces and you’re immediately transported into a fantasy world. For Spring 2019, Hoermanseder was inspired by the glitz and the glam—and the excessiveness—of Vegas in the ’90s. Ruffled Latex, leather buckled pieces, and plenty of tulle were featured in an array of colors with references to bridal, ballerinas, and even mermaids.
Dutch label Botter may be traditionally considered a menswear label, but its Berlin Fashion Week, made possible by Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Program, debut proves that its oversized silhouettes and in-your-face colors and patterns are meant to be unisex. Inspired by designers’ Rushemy Botter's and Lisi Herrebrugh’s Caribbean roots, the Spring/Summer 2019 collection, Al Fombra, draws inspiration from the corner lottery shops you’ll find in the Dominican Republic and Curaçao. Riffing on the sartorial creativity of those who frequent these shops, the collection was a wild display of mixing and matching texture, color, and print.
On the runway, the design duo also showcased looks from its Spring 2018 Fish or Fight collection, which earned them a place as one of 10 finalists for the LVMH Prize 2018.
For Irene Luft’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, Neon Noir, the designer focused on the idea of contrast—whether it be with dark and light colors, fabrics and textures of all sorts, or overall silhouette. Her typically romantic designs were given a sportier edge this season, blending couture with athleisure in a way that felt natural. Structured leather tops and sporty bomber jackets were paired with delicately embroidered tulle skirts and ball gown skirts worn with sneakers—giving luxury eveningwear a more laid-back feel.
For Marcel Ostertag’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, color was key. An homage to the many muses in the designer’s life, soft pastel silks, candy-colored stripes, and dazzling floral embroideries appeared alongside sequins, fringe, and other elements—all in fantastical colors with a ‘70s twist.
Additionally, Ostertag introduced his very first menswear collection for the brand. The 10-piece capsule includes colorful takes on classic sportswear and loungewear, from blush pink hoodies to neon yellow track pants.
For its latest collection, German-based label Riani took us on a road trip through the U.S., drawing influence from a series of American destinations along the way. Both New York and Miami inspired a series of deep green and blue hues, seen on suiting separates and sundresses, while breezy florals and plaids evoked the casual cool of the Hamptons. Vibrant pinks and pastels used throughout the collection were inspired by the laid-back and sunny vibes of California. But really, it’s all about the accents. Feather-lined sleeves, oversized visors, and mismatched statement jewelry added a certain quirkiness to the collection, making it suitable enough for everyday wear, but never, ever boring.
If you’re looking for a truly romantic spring collection, the latest from Berlin-based designer Lana Mueller is just that. For Spring/Summer 2019, Mueller drew inspiration from a recent trip to Ethiopia. Influenced by the traditional draping worn by Ethiopian women where garments are “wrapped like a rose” around the body, vibrant silks, whimsical ruffles, and sheer floral prints were seen in the form of cascading day dresses, breezy daytime separates, and fairy-tale-like eveningwear.