Techno Mermaid. Ottolinger SS23

Ottolinger designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient opened their spring-summer 2023 fashion show with a sharp look: a deconstructed belt–meets–bra top whose straps covered the nipples and little else, paired with low-slung leather-look trousers made from recycled polyester. Gen Z’s love of near nudity knows no bounds, and the fan base that lounged on the show venue’s mattress seats wearing skin-baring looks from the Berlin-based label would think nothing of wearing a crop top to talk shop. The designers recently launched a pre-collection that they said had allowed them to tackle more conceptual ideas in their runway shows. No longer beholden to showing denim and mesh dresses, which are their big commercial hits, this freed them up to present deconstructed biker jackets and skintight bodysuits. Ironically, though, the strongest pieces were arguably the most commercial, especially the dresses that draped and hugged the body with some rubbery-looking embellishments. Dipping items in rubber is a trait that reads recognizably Ottolinger: The punked-up court shoes, which saw a classic pump wrapped in a futuristic rubber-like casing, were as covetable as the diamanté jewelry dipped in brightly colored rubber that currently sells well on the label’s website. They’d do well to continue hammering home those codes as the Y2K trend keeps rolling and numerous other labels look to replicate their success with the sexy and the skintight.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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Ganni in Berlin

Last weekend I was invited to Ganni‘s store opening in Berlin on Rochstraße (the heart of super-lively Mitte district), and well, the Berliners are now super lucky to have such a gorgeous space for shopping! The interior perfectly captures the Scandi-chic spirit of Ganni through so-odd-it’s-cool textures, matchy-matchy colours and of course the amazing painting created for the shop by the Berlin-based artist, Isis Maria. And the brand brought some spring energy to the autumnish city with its joyful carnation bouquets coming from a local flower shop…

Rochtraße 1 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.
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“The Woven Child”: Louise Bourgeois Retrospective in Berlin

The Woven Child” is the first major survey to focus exclusively on Louise Bourgeois’ fabric-based works. The exhibition charts the artists’s lifelong connection to textiles, and the memories they conjure, through a diverse body of sculptures, installations, drawings, collages, books and prints. Bourgeois’ fabric works, that she only began working on in her eighties, are among her most compelling and intimate creations. The late decision to create artworks from her clothes and household textiles was a means of transforming as well as preserving the past. Bourgeois incorporated these objects, which held memories associated with specific places and people, into sculptural installations that are on display at the Gropius Bau, such as her Cells and free-standing “pole pieces”. The exhibition sheds a new light on Bourgeois by linking her fabric works to her material processes, her own biography, and themes of the body, memory, femininity, trauma and repair. Highly recommend, the exhibition and Bourgeois’ oeuvre absolutely absorbs the soul!

Curated by Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery, and Julienne Lorz. Exhibition open until 23rd of October 2022.

Gropius Bau / Berlin / Niederkirchnerstraße 7

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.
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Kunstgewerbemuseum in Berlin

If you’re in Berlin and love fashion history (and decorative / applied arts in general!), make sure to visit Kunstgewerbemuseum. The sheer breadth of the collection is impressive, encompassing a wide variety of materials and forms of craftwork, fashion and design from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The collection’s extensive range of costumes and accessories from the 18th to 20th centuries is presented to visitors since the reopening of the museum in 2014 in a newly conceived fashion gallery. Dresses from the 1960s designed by Jean Patou, Christóbal Balenciaga, and Jean Dessès; Mariano Fortuny’s breath-taking Delphos dresses; 18th century panniers and 19th century crinolines… it’s brilliant. Jugendstil and Art Deco are also well represented at the Kunstgewerbemuseum with glassware from Emile Gallé, pieces of furniture by Henry van de Velde and the glass doors of César Klein. The collection comprises famous and influential design classics such as furniture by Bruno Paul, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer as well as tableware from Wilhelm Wagenfeld. And… in the neighbouring building, there’s the exhaustive Gemäldegalerie with paintings from 13th to 18th century, and it’s also worth visiting.

Matthäikirchplatz / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

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Dries Van Noten Beauty

During my recent Berlin trip, I finally had the chance to discover the Dries Van Noten beauty line IRL at Andreas Murkudis (which is the only retailer in Germany who stocks these goodies). I wasn’t disappointed. For most designers, perfume and cosmetics are a rite of passage; they waste little time getting into the lucrative businesses. But not Dries Van Noten. For over three decades, he has been one of fashion’s rare independent operators who made his name not on licenses, but on clothes. And yet the 63-year-old is probably better suited to these things than many of his peers. “I said I wanted a rose perfume that is kind of a punch – really not a sweet, beautiful, feminine thing. It had to be something that men could easily wear. That was kind of the symbol of how we started to work,” he says of his fragrance lineup, which includes Neon Garden, one of the scents the designer himself has taken to wearing that pairs the freshness of mint with powdery iris, and Jardin de l’Orangerie, which blends traditional orange blossom with sandalwood for a grounded, earthy effect. What Van Noten didn’t want: “easygoing” perfumes. “I think there’s already so much out there in the market. The idea was that every perfume really tells a story – in my fashion, I’m also a storyteller,” he told Vogue. In total, the new line includes 10 genderless eaux de parfums alongside 30 lipsticks, a lip balm, as well as a select few soaps and creams. The collection also includes a series of accessories, such as a mirror, a comb, and more. The scents are personal, and so too are the apothecary-inspired bottles that they come in. Each is meticulously designed and outfitted with a cap that features the brand name engraved onto it. The bottles are colored to match the scent inside, and is bound to become a centerpiece on your beauty shelf as soon as you add them to your collection. As for the beauty offerings, the 30 lipsticks are available to shop in a range of three finishes. Fifteen of them have a satin look, 10 have a matte appearance, and five will be sheer. While some are neutral-toned, the collection also includes a vibrant purple shade, proving that the brand’s love of color runs deep. The lipsticks in this new collection are just as much about the final payoff as they are about the process of applying and playing with them. With this in mind, you can also buy a lip brush to go along with the shade of your choosing. What’s important, sustainability was also key in the new collection. Aside from being reusable and refillable, the lipsticks are packaged without plastic. Love!

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.
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