Sometimes the best fashion is a little bit ugly, a little bit pretty. One of Berlin Fashion Week's visible show-stoppers was up-and-comer Seleenkleid, whose spring '09 collection featured feminine, floaty dresses dripping with what looked like oil or mud. Designer Ella Haberlach uses heated rubber to create the designs, which include mini shifts, pleated tops, and even painted playsuits. In the designer's statement, she acknowledges that "the basic design idea is based on dealing with identity changes and the war of two realities - the earthly and the imaginary." Reaching the halfway point between innocent and corrupt, the pieces do seem to have a split personality. But though the clothes are dirtied with drips and splashes of white paint or black rubber, the design is completely polished. You could almost call it clean.
Though not available in U.S. stores yet, sales information is available by contacting www.ellahaberlach.de.