In addition to the repertoire of exhibitions in Paris this time you can also find a piece of Berlin in the heart of the French city. The German capital is presenting its first ever menswear showroom with nine of its most representative designers in this genre. Berlin, can't be told otherwise, is a city full of controversy that little by little has become an influential style with its own characteristics of cold and expansive, black and addictive, hieratic and dynamic. It's interesting to see how the same expanding phenomena that takes place in Berlin allows its designers to acquire very different influences.
It seems that the initial barriers that emerging designers encountered are now becoming more vague. Men's fashion is definitely one of the areas where some names begin to ring a bell. We have been talking with very young people full of ideas and enthusiasm but most of all, with a very well defined philosophy of what style is. A belief deeply designed on top of which they bet, in most cases, to keep their tenuous connection to the "Nordic". Purity in lines, smart look before all but also urban style, everyday fabrics, structured garments and geometry.
Who has been closer to the German traditional aesthetic of keeping the weight of history but making a strong point of it is Firma. Functional and almost architectonical, I would say, this collection gives you a taste of the essence of Berlin's design.In fact they talk about their pieces as "objects" susceptible to be sold or presented as a long life property. Pieces made with the best quality and being produced in the EU to keep it real and to prove that there is a solid concept behind them. German functionality and pulchritude converted into a must wear.
Next to them Sissi Goetze was showing a very nice collection mainly dominated by tailored suits and shirts. Refined cuts and nice detailed necks and cuffs in super comfortable fabrics in very high quality. A palette of colors that moved from black to blue passing though a big scale of grays and going back to black. Her specialty is precision and ease combined with a nonchalant fit, fresh and easy to wear, noteworthy in coats and jackets. I personally like the double cut shirts and the cropped pants, definitely a constant in what have been shown in men's fall collection 2014-15 in Paris. Interesting the concept of smart and minimal but old school male fashion.
Following the trail of minimalism and technological research I run into Schmidttakahashi who has been doing a broad research in the processes of the fabrication of garments. Their vision is to produce unique one-off pieces from a selection of used garments that are later archived in an online database in which clients can retrace each item’s story by scanning a QR-Code. Again, the weight of history wins. Their accessories proposal is very interesting: triangular leather purses mixing complementary colors and double zips together with the almost oversize jumpers and wide shoulders jackets.
Right after, Sopopular presents its new collection.Very focused in growing in these good times Berlin is living , Daniel Blechman shows an almost monochrome palette splattered with some metal deep red and indigo blue. The clear cut and the slim fit are maintained as standard but this time adding some details in necks, cuffs and shirtfronts such as double colors, geometrical effects and symmetrical zipped pockets. You can feel Berlin's style all over the collection. Timeless ideals and an individual way of creating. A cosmopolitan touch without risking too much in patterns, colors and materials. Keeping the essence of an urban and discreet way of life, Sopopular gets mostly inspired by the street wear trends, music waves and full tattoo body boys.
And as Starstyling says, "fuck minimal" (at least for a while). Their interesting proposal follows nothing but their own archetypes and offers a look inside their upside down world, although they are not so crazy as they look and have an important repercussion in Asiatic fashion and pop culture.
Sasa Kovacevic, Serbian-born fashion and stage & costume designer of Sadak brings the exotic and mystical touch we needed to see. Almost surprised for having been selected to represent Berlin menswear designers in Paris, he told us his new collection talks about the French's Court golden era. Baroque patterns that make one think of 18th Century costumes, Maria Antoinette portraits in denial, long pieces, puffy skirts over same pattern pants, capes and bulky kimonos.The key elements are modern proportions, a constant research for fabrics, textures and new shapes.
Other interesting proposals came from a new and young couple in the fashion world working together under the name of Simon&Me. Their approach to design is marked by its simplicity, focusing on a simple and high quality product always using raw and classic materials. Simon&me offer objects without distraction always making the most of our daily-life items. All beautiful things you want to own immediately.
Not far from the same fashion concept, Stefan Rechsteiner and Patrick Rüegg explore the possibilities of new and contemporary shoes under the footwear label Velt Classic methods for classic but contemporary shoes.
And last but not least was Versuchskind, a denim brand based in Berlin and founded by Tanja Kim Kupke and Thomas Hints who use their own hands to create unique handcrafted denim pieces treating them as if they were real tailored pieces. Their jeans offer a strong expressionist and dynamic personality.