Patrick Mohr's presentations are less fashion shows, more performances; provocative and conceptual. Through the interplay of his designs, models and mise-en-scene for his S/S 2014 collection, the German fashion scene’s enfant terrible constructed a world controversial by merit of its being unusual- not for effect, however, but rather to create a space within fashion that reaches beyond normative standards of appropriateness and visibility. Showing in a delapidated department store and former fashion institute in Berlin-Mitte, Mohr orchestrates what others might, insultingly, call a freakshow. He calls his collection "Human".
The designer has a reputation for working with unconventional models- this season, he wants his choice to reflect what he considers a “normal social conception”, putting regular fashion models alongside people usually marginalized by the industry’s fixed standards. They inhabit a fluid scale of genders, ethnicities, ages and able-ness, and so transman Balian Buschbaum, wheelchair-driving Nina Wortmann, and Down-syndrome actor Bobby Brederlow present the pieces side by side with supermodels Kathrin Thormann and Franzi Mueller. All of them possess a defiant air of vulnerability and strength, and it is this hybridity that the collection is built around.
Mohr’s designs are unisex. He says he designs ‘not for men or women, rather for a projection space for all manifestations of our species.” 16 pieces make up a collection that is as minimalist in colour scheme as it is in design. White and black dominate, and are complimented by rich aubergine and citrus yellow details. A single print featured on white jersey vests is of the designers eyes, wide open and staring off the models’ chests right at the audience, challenging. Uncompromising linearity and classic materials such as cotton, wool and leather accentuate Mohr’s purist aesthetics, and androgynous shapes and structured asymmetry come together in a streetwear-meets-avant garde-collection. Exposed zippers hold together draped layers of creped silk, trails extend meter-wide across the dirty concrete floor, and it is in this intuitive play with contrasts that Mohr’s redefinition of concepts of beauty and innovation has begun to take place.
There is something uniquely Berlin-of-the-moment about Human’s curation. Fittingly, it is framed by Germany’s most notorious (Berghain-)bouncer and art world legend Sven Marquardt’s photographs of Mohr’s designs, unceremoniously pasted onto exposed brick walls. But for all the harshness and unconventionality, the conceptualization of the night resonates with rich aesthetic appreciation. Human is Patrick Mohr’s testament to an urbanity that is unpretentiously cutting-edge, his idealistic celebration of a grotesqueness that is contingent with creative potential.