Last week Berlin’s Postbahnhof hosted the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week and INDIE Mag was behind the scenes to witness the masterpieces and the madness of fashion’s most extravagant underground designers. Unlike the ‘normal’ fashion weeks, BAFW knows no boundaries and anything goes. The aim is to showcase alternative concepts that are not constrained or dominated by big brands and labels. BAFW checks judgements at the door and is an open minded environment that celebrates non-conformity and challenges gender roles in order to create a freedom in which new identities and possibilities within fashion can be explored. We made a top five selection of Saturday’s ‘alchemy’ shows, the highlight of the BAWF.
With their slogan STAY WEIRD written across the back of the garments Zlism is the perfect example for the proud-to-be-different-atmosphere that BAFW presents. The ready-to-wear line of street clothes did their thing kicking off the show with a pumping trap remix calling the audience to attention. Out come the models sporting fluffy bombers and other fresh and brightly colored printed pieces.
Pilja pulled out all the stops creating a theatrical runway performance to match the extravagant black and white collection. Starting the show with a dance performance and closing it with a live performance by artist La Pustra singing his own rendition of Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones, the audience was transported to a world af dramatics and beauty. The models were adorned with big intricate headpieces and the trompe l’oeil printed collection showed a mix between unique garments as well as more casual suits and dresses.
This intricate collection of elaborate gowns stayed true to its inspiration of nature, showing the collection with a serene backdrop of nature imagery and soft musical tones. Using materials such as latex and wool SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS succeeded in showing beautifully made gowns reminiscent of Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s work.
The highlight of the alchemy shows had to be Maison Mason. Designer Patrick Mason is a third year fashion student at HTW Berlin. Showing for the second time at BAFW Mason stunned us with a cohesive collection of semi wearable pieces and a show we won’t be forgetting. Mason created upper body pieces with sleaves so long they dragged on the floor reminding us of straightjackets – or all the Vêtements stuff. The shockingly bright orange patent leather coats served as a refreshing splash of color in his otherwise rather neutral collection. Turning the runway into a work of art the designer incorporated performance with visuals and music to create an experience that went along with his designs.
The wildest collection of the alchemy shows was the balloon extravaganza created by Andrey Bartenev. His creations consist out of morph suits with attached massive balloon installations unlike anything you have ever seen. The creations are colourful and fun and create an entirely new shape, one that is inhuman and trippy. Keeping up with the level of hysterics that his creations bring along, the show was a carnavalistic madhouse of strobe lights and bursting balloons at each corner of the runway. Instead of walking the runway the models ran, hopped and rolled in order to showcase the design and their alien shapes.