Achtung! 4 Favorites From Berlin Fashion Week

In between chatting up Mario Testino and Joan Smalls, gawking at celebrities like Lily Cole and Jason “Smith Jerrod” Lewis, and wolfing down currywurst, we somehow managed to sneak in a few shows and presentations at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin hosted by IMG. Not surprisingly, the nation that gave the world Karl Lagerfeld has no shortage of hotshot designers. And while you’re no doubt familiar with big-deal labels like Escada Sport and Hugo by Hugo Boss, allow us to introduce you to a handful of lesser-known talents — some German, some not — who stole our hearts in Berlin. Remember these names, and update those shopping lists!
steven tai
Steven Tai
A native of Canada and a graduate of Central Saint Martins, Tai’s Elle-sponsored show was one of Berlin’s most daring. Having just won the inaugural Hyères design prize, Tai, with a raw, deconstructed collection inspired by bookworms, is making it clear that he’s one to watch. Clutching books and wearing specs, models hit the catwalk in structured, Humpty Dumpty-style trousers, layers upon layers of unfinished fabric trailing down the edge of a blouse, and thick, quilted jackets in dreamy tones of butter yellow and cream. But, perhaps nothing sums up Tai’s minimalist-meets-visionary aesthetic better than his white dress adorned with 795 gold fountain-pen tips mounted on tiny motors, which he layered over a simple, white blouse and gray trousers.
Photo: Via Berlin Fashion Week
issever
Issever Bahri
Though its black, gray, and dark-red color palette didn’t exactly scream “spring,” Issever Bahri’s effortlessly chic assortment of wicker-inspired crochet details, wear-everywhere suits, and sexy-sheer knits has us rethinking our position toward pastels. After all, why spend the season in sundresses when you can nail that sophisticated-gone-edgy look in a leather shift adorned with a multicolored crochet column, buttery-soft leather shorts, or a floor-length shirtdress paired with a nylon jacket?
kaviar
Kaviar Gauche
A favorite with German celebrities and famed for its offshoot bridal line, Alexandra Fischer-Roehler and Johanna Kühl served up a highly covetable range rife with V-cuts, peplums, sheer panels, and beehive-style geometric prints in white, black, and acid yellow. A precisely pleated leather skirt would make any gal feel like a superhero, while the assortment of sleeveless sheer tops slashed down to the navel felt seductive without being smutty. Something tells us it won’t be long before U.S. starlets follow the example of their German counterparts…
Augustin
Augustin Teboul
Rising temperatures and a lack of air conditioning couldn’t stop the beauties at Augustin Teboul’s spring '13 presentation — housed at the stunning Salon Dahlmann — from exuding cool in their black wares inspired by the Baudelaire poem “Les Fleurs du Mal.” Situated in live tableaux amongst lush bunches of flowers, models discreetly fanned themselves and sipped water as they posed in Annelie Augustin and Odely Teboul’s webby crochet knits, delicate pleats, slinky Lady Mary-esque gowns, and headpieces dripping in black Swarovski crystals. Gothic, gorgeous, and rich with feminine embellishments, this dark horse is sure to entice.

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