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5 things we learned from Berlin Fashion Week

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By Cherelle Mukoko on 26th January 2023

Berlin fashion week was full of politics, power and passion this January. Here's five things we learned whilst in the bustling German capital.

Berlin has demonstrated that they are fast becoming one of the fashion capitals of the world, with a mixture of eclectic and minimal style found amongst the bustling streets of the popular city. You may not find all your favourite, trending designer brands but the city gives platform to some incredible & unique smaller labels that perfectly reflect Berlin; colourful, full of character, and well connected.

Androgynous energy is out in full force

The catwalks were graced with a juxtaposition of figure-hugging maxi dresses, oversized 'dad' blazers, and tailored suits; decorously cinched at the waist and contrasted with wide and structured lapels. For my personal style, I’m definitely opting for a more masculine & clean look this year and I drew so much inspiration from the designers. Not to sound too cliche but it really did give me... boss babe vibes.

The 70s and 80s are back with a bang!

Trends always makes their 360 degree turn, and the past few years have definitely felt very nostalgic and reminiscent of the 90s era. I’m not saying that’s fully out the window, but the 70s and 80s are about to take the lead. One thing Berliners are not afraid to do is be bold, and I mean bold!!! Think Tommy Hilfiger-esque wide shoulder pads and shell bomber jackets. The 80’s were also the era of the chunky boot (doc martins to be precise) and I loved seeing it styled with a flouncy dress or long and structured coat....

Independent designers are coming for the crown 

Since the pandemic, Instagram truly has been an incredible space for new and upcoming designers to build their brand, with influencers helping to bring many of them to the forefront. When we traditionally think of fashion week, we think of Paris, Milan & London showcasing the big designers such as Louis Vuitton and Burberry, but Berlin taught me to appreciate the designers that may not have as much recognition yet. Admittedly, there wasn't a designer on the schedule that I knew or had even heard of before, but I loved it. Being able to see new and upcoming designers' craftsmanship first is where all the trendsetters need to be! It's a fantastic opportunity to see new designs and ideas before those who are just opting for the bigger cities during fashion month, and the attention may be starting to shift sooner than we think.

Sustainability is at the forefront 

We are definitely living in a more eco-conscious age, and it's great to see and feel the energy collectively. I don't think many people deem the word sustainable as cool yet in the fashion industry, but many brands are definitely heading towards making a change. BFW was centred around sustainability and I think this approach is really going to elevate them; the city had an abundance of conferences and exhibitions that were open to the public. I was also blown away by The Haderlump Dystopia collection, made entirely out of recycled jeans, leather jackets, parachutes (yes you read that right) and military uniforms. If that's not setting trends I don't know what is...


Let’s get comfortable 

The merging of fashion & comfort is again something that has been on a steady uphill rise since the pandemic, but it really flourished during BFW. I opted for flared jogging bottoms with trainers and an oversized blazer for the Bobkova show - a very sports luxe look and my feet and organs definitely thanked me for it! I would say that 85% of what I witnessed was a delightful mix of comfort with style, and boy does Berlin do that well. 


Where to stay to be at the epicentre of Berlin fashion week?

For luxury-seekers on a budget I recommend Hotel Zoo Berlin. A stones throw away from the hustle and bustle of Kurfürstendamm, so if you're needing a last minute fit for a show, you will have an abundance of inspiration, as well an array of restaurants to refuel. Hotel Zoo Berlin takes its inspiration from the animal kingdom, and every small detail is thought out. The hotel even collaborated with Maison Margiela to provide their guests with luxury bathrobes and towels...yes please!

For those who have a little more cash to flash, the 5 star Grand Hyatt Berlin was somewhere I would call ‘a home away from home’. This hotel was luxury at its finest. From the staff, food and amenities, you are guaranteed to have a comfortable base to come back to after running around from show to show - not to mention it's extremely well connected.

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