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International Herald Tribune

14 Thursday, February 23, 2006 Fashion
Gucci does David Bowie glam rock
Continued from Page 13 drainpipe pants, jewel embroidered to
the max or made in brocade? Dresses
was substantial take on a womanly mostly had leggings underneath their
wardrobe that made a good show. tiny ra-ra skirts. And if a lot of this non-
Emporio Armani had also come sense looked nothing like a winter col-
down to earth from the haute position- lection, there was fur on the shoes to
ing of the designer’s eponymous label. warm up dancing feet.
In flat shoes, with smiles on their faces In a dramatic show, with a hint of the
and snug jackets over poufy skirts, the 1980s power woman, Miuccia Prada
models showed off in this second line embraced the modern urban jungle. A
Giorgio Armani’s urge for feminine fri- video of trees sprouting among classic
volity — without entirely betraying his buildings and flowers opening up erot-
modernist heritage. The polka dots, fur ically made a compelling background
hats and froufrou hemlines were graf- to models stomping out on platform
ted on to simple architecture that shoes, wearing animal prints or
proved, yet again, that the designer is a patches of fur that clung to their
king of jackets. Things that might have clothes along with hefty visible bras.
been elaborate seemed cute, as Armani Prada’s show was exceptional in its
played with a puffed shoulder or a curl- emotional buzz as the hip hop music of
ing lapel. And you could always pair Flash and the Furious Five rapped out
the jackets with Armani jeans, rather ‘‘Don’t push me — cos I’m too close to
than a fluffy skirt or ruffle-edged the edge . . . it’s like a jungle some
shorts. This couture-lite approach times.’’
demonstrated how Armani has shifted It resounded as a Munch-like primal
from rigorous to playful — even if the scream of women in big varsity knitted
rest of the fashion world seems to be re- dresses, carrying bags shaped like an
versing those moves. armful of books. On this collegiate side
Etro has such a history with fabric of normal streetwear were simple par-
that it seemed natural that it should kas — although they might have furry
delve even further back into a courtly backs and pockets or be tied by their
world of gilded glories, gleaming bro- sleeves around a jaggedly cut black
cades and rich velvets gleaming with dress. But Prada soon shook up her
jewels. Sounds like a costume party? By wardrobe basics with the kind of ex- POLLIN I
some magic, Veronica Etro wove to- ternal bras over sweaters that Vivienne
gether ancient and modern in the way Westwood showed in the post-Punk
her family creates their finely flecked JUST CAVALLI PR INGLE period. Then came a tribal drum roll of
tweeds. The result was a pulled togeth-
er collection where the coats of arms
Photographs by Christopher Moore/Andrew Thomas animal print coats, complete with
furry motorcycle helmets, as seen in
Pollini’s happy ’60s moment
on tooled leather bags were updated was a harbinger of varied creative ideas As its new CEO, Douglas Fang, put it: July’s men’s show.
history while silver ring necklaces un- as well as a roster of yarns and weights. ‘‘We are not going to give up Pringle’s What did it all mean? And was this the or Pollini, designed by Rifat Ozbek, it was a shiny happy fashion moment.
der short, tailored jackets gave a mod-
ern edge.
The designer even took her bow in one
of the runway looks: a fine knit
Roberto Cavalli had a message:
same woman who was both covered-up
as a student, sporty in a short, quilted
F As the models took to the runway with their hair pulled back in ponytails
adorned with sliver plastic and their eyes covered in Jackie-O sunglasses (a
So many different elements were fol- cashmere sweater, glimmering with ‘‘Freedom! Positivity! Happiness! blouson and a Valkyrie in a short black preview of the upcoming Pollini line), there was no doubt to where the de-
ded in from graffiti patterns to Etro’s Lurex threads and with bugle sleeves. Fantasy! Creativity! Love!’’ You could dress? Those dresses had brief pleated signer was taking his inspiration. The swinging ’60s of short shift dresses no
signature paisley. The designer is fol- ‘‘I wanted to make a statement with call it wearing your big bold beating skirts and a touch of Azzedine Alaïa’s longer than their matching three-quarters coats were given visual punch with
lowing a path of her own, playing a knitwear,’’ said Waight Keller, who fashion heart on your sleeve, for arm 1980s style, which is popping up every- a brocade in a flower motif (a favorite fabric this season) or jacquards in a psy-
game of hard and soft that played out as formerly did knits at Gucci. Her coverings were center front in this where in the collections. chedelic graphic print. Fur collars or a double row of sliver spheres at the
solid on clothes as on the magisterial concept was day-to-night knits getting over-the-top romp of a Just Cavalli ‘‘It’s the idea of fashion taking a com- waist added another layer of texture to the mix — all paired with matching
fabrics. ever lighter until there was a spun sug- show. Sleeves were kimono-shaped, bative spirit and women being rebelli- bags and boots. A nubby wool ensemble in sliver gray with embroidered
The return of knitwear is such a ar concoction for a black cocktail top. fluttered like butterflies, ballooned in- ous,’’ said Prada, who proved herself flowers at the hem was a quiet winner. And a black mohair jacket with patten
strong story that Pringle got lucky with Between hefty and fragile knits were to a giant imperial puffa jacket that fol- with this collection to be the biggest leather inserts looked both retro and modern. Whereas the thick stiff tiger
its first runway show from the incom- the clothes, which seemed less sure, es- lowed a kitsch Chinese theme. These rebel of them all. print fabric somehow looked like it would feel more at home draped in front
ing designer Claire Waight Keller. The pecially when loose pants turned were sleeves to get you literally in the of a fireplace than across the backs of models.
cabled cashmere sweater that swung soggy. But it was a nicely done debut soup. But then why would you eat Suzy Menkes is the fashion editor of — Jessica Michault
wide over soft pants to open the show and the knit focus is right for Pringle. lunch when you had to squeeze into the International Herald Tribune.

That’s creativity with a capital B: Berlin plumbs its own dynamic depths
By Andreas Tzortzis Premium trade fair this year. ‘‘Fashion Tokyo and Paris,’’ said Mühlhans. ‘‘But en city,’’ said Müller. ‘‘It didn’t need
in those cities is not as hot as it used to don’t ask me when that will happen, be- marketing to reach a goal. It was always
BERLIN be. I’ve seen more innovative stores in cause I just don’t know.’’ driven by an idea, by the people.’’
f the former GDR kindergarten- Berlin than anywhere else.’’ Besides lacking the purchasing Since he began his show in Berlin

I cum-creative collective in East

Berlin typifies the unconventional
roots of this city’s fashion scene,
the label that occupies the bottom floor
of the two-story building suggests its
Well aware that such praise is all too
fleeting in the fashion world, the main
players in this city’s nascent scene are
now hoping to harness that hype and
perhaps eventually catch up to fashion
power and big designer names of those
cities, the fashion scene here finds it-
self in a dilemma typical of Berlin:
competing visions of what the future
should look like.
with 230 exhibitors in 2003, it has
grown exponentially. Streetwear
brands from Levi’s to Lacoste exhibit at
Bread & Butter, which welcomed
30,500 visitors Jan. 27-29.
potentia l. capitals like Tokyo, London or New Bachelin, in her designer jeans, But Müller’s brusque manner and
C.Neeon, the design duo of Doreen York. boots and snakeskin purse, represents unwillingness to join joint marketing
Schulz and Clara Kraetsch, has ‘‘The creativity needs to be commu- one of these visions. Since Bachelin efforts, like this year’s Fashion Week
emerged as one of Europe’s top young nicated and marketed effectively,’’ said started the Premium trade fair in 2003 idea, have made him a controversial
labels. Their asymmetrical, color- Anita Bachelin, the co-founder of with Norbert Tillmann, the number of figure. Many see his opening of an ad-
splashed collections won them the Premium. ‘‘That’s Berlin’s and Ger- exhibitors has risen tenfold, to more ditional Bread & Butter show in Bar-
Grand Prix du Jury at an international many’s job.’’ than 600. celona last year as a threat to the
fashion festival in Hyères, France, last Unlike London, where graduates of This year, the fair expanded from its growth of the scene in Berlin. And the
summer. They have a showroom in Par- the city’s celebrated design schools location in an abandoned subway sta- confusing trade show schedules and
is, sell in 23 stores across the world and have enjoyed the support of the British tion at Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz to in- public spats with Premium organizers
just made their second appearance at Fashion Council since the 1980s, Berlin clude an empty train station ware- is beginning to wear on buyers and de-
London’s fashion week. only recently began taking advantage house. More than 17,000 visitors came signers alike.
At least part of the credit, they say, of the buzz around the city’s fashion to the three-day event, featuring a mix ‘‘What they’re doing now is not help-
belongs to the city in which they live. scene. The city government launched a of local couture and international la- ing the buyer,’’ said Markus Kosseleck,
An absence of firm structures ‘‘gives Creative Industries Initiative that bels like Marithe + François Girbaud president of the label aemkei, which he
you a certain freedom,’’ said Schulz, brings together Berlin’s music, fashion, and 7 for all Mankind. moved from New York to Berlin two
taking a coffee break in the make-do media and art scenes. A fashion The focus on designer labels ties in years ago. ‘‘There’s too many trade
kitchen C.Neeon shares with an archi- roundtable, including trade fair and in- with Bachelin’s conviction that Berlin shows, too many events, and the buyers
tecture studio and two painters. dustry representatives and designers, will one day take its place among the are too confused.’’
‘‘There’s another style and dynamic.’’ tries to come up with solutions to the world’s fashion capitals. To lend her The sentiment is shared by many in
Berlin’s raw energy and commitment design scene’s problems, such as start- event some glitz this time, she brought the scene, as is Müller’s conviction that
to nonconformity has made it a wel- up financing and marketing. in the British pop group the Sugababes Berlin try not to alter itself too radical-
come creative harbor for countless ‘‘We had a problem communicating and hosted a small dinner that in- ly. Designers like C.Neeon see Berlin’s
artists since the Wall fell in 1989, from the potential of this,’’ said Tanja Mühl- cluded, among others, Barbara Becker, future in a continuation of the present.
the electro-rock singer Peaches to Hedi hans, the initiative’s coordinator. ‘‘We the former wife of the tennis star Boris After all, without the city’s bound-
Slimane, Dior’s menswear designer. had to communicate it in our own Becker. But New York Fashion Week it less experimentation, creative mix and,
The atmosphere has given rise to small house first.’’ was not, something Bachelin acknowl- of course, cheap rents, labels like
high-end labels like C.Neeon and a In the two years, city officials like edged. C.Neeon would have a hard time find-
streetwear scene lauded in the pages of the economics minister, Harald Wolf, ‘‘It’s still coming,’’ said Bachelin. ing their footing.
Vogue and showrooms from Paris to and the nightlife-loving mayor, Klaus ‘‘We’re talking about three-and-a-half ‘‘We’re both pretty sure that we
Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of buy- Wowereit, have begun attending the years. New York had 10 years. Paris had would be doing something entirely dif-
ers and visitors descended on Berlin’s twice-yearly trade shows. In January 100 years.’’ ferent if we lived somewhere else,’’ said
two major trade fairs, Bread & Butter 2005, the city’s trade fair association But Bachelin’s hopes for a fashion Kraetsch. Across the table, Schulz nod-
and Premium Exhibitions, in January, launched B in Berlin, a lesser-visited week to rival other capitals are any- ded. ‘‘I think it would be unfortunate if
continuing an upward trend in atten- trade show that, together with Premi- thing but unanimous. Karl-Heinz Berlin tried to form its identity by look-
dance since the two fairs began in um and the show Fifth Floor, was pro- Müller, a co-founder of Bread & Butter, ing elsewhere,’’ she added.
2003. moted as Berlin Fashion Week this says Berlin should evolve naturally, and
‘‘Paris is sad. Milan is sad,’’ said yea r. avoid trying to be something it isn’t. Andreas Tzortzis is a freelance jour-
Dylan Ross, a London buyer visiting the ‘‘The goal needs to be to catch up to ‘‘Berlin was never a marketing-driv- nalist based in Berlin.

Mark Simon for the International Herald Tribune

Berlin’s Premium show, left, and Bread & Butter, right. At top, Doreen Schulz, left, and Clara Kraetsch, designers for C.Neeon, which is located in a former kindergarten, center right.