JFW 2012 Day 4: It’s The Deutschland Invasion!

Haute coutures are amazing, but there were days when my fashion-week-tired eyes need to take a break from highly structured, detailed, or complicated pieces, and just rest on simpler, ready-to-wear collections.

And so I high tailed to the closing show of the fourth day, which featured three understated yet innovative Berlin labels whom all have made an appearance—and impressed the industry—in this year’s Berlin Fashion Week.

Boessert Schorn (www.boessert-schorn.de)

Boessert Schorn was originally a collaboration brand by two designers, Sonia Boessert and Bridgitte Schorn. But the duo decided to split, leaving Sonia Boessert as the sole designer.

The label was known for their variations of knitwear, but for the Spring-Summer 2012 collection that they brought to Indonesia, the knitwear did not dominate.

Instead, Boessert Schorn sent down models after models down the runway in consistently loose and flowing pieces. They might look simple, but indeed the silhouettes were strong and wearable for Indonesia’s environment.

The knitwears did appear, eventually, and it was nice to find they’re not un-wearable at all. There were no bulky sweaters, only slouchy, casual ones in blocks of colors.

On colors, they seemed to be very Earth-inspired, with tones of sand, clay, precious stones, and coals, which are not usually the most exciting colors, but looked attractive in this collection. To add, the graphic prints—which also seemed like it’s derived from natural elements—presented youthful and modern appearances, totally saving the simple silhouettes from being lifeless.

Starstyling (www.startyling.net)

Some qualities of a great RTW collection are unique, fun, and catered to real people instead of only catwalk runway models. If you agree, meet Starstyling.

Found in 2000 by husband-and-wife duo Katja Schelegel and Kai Seifried, Starstyling’s aim wasn’t being all high fashion, actually, but rather to have fun with it, mock trends, and break rules. Life is short, why so serious all the time? As a result, Starstyling becomes somewhat identical with streetwear, with avant-garde touches.

For this year’s Jakarta Fashion Week, the Berlin label brought their Spring/Summer 2012 collection, Stripes Your Right to Party. Though the presentation was only modeled by girls, the collection actually consisted of unisex pieces for both fun-lovin’ boys and girls. The unisex-ism of the collection was shown through sporty tunics, shirts, sweaters and trousers that work on both gender.

As the name suggested, this collection was all about stripes. But Katja and Kei did not just slap on regular stripes—the main goal was to break the normally strict lines. Katja painted the stripes herself by hand, which made them more organic, loopy, and far from perfectly straight. The collection also combined stripes with other shapes of lines, for example circular lines, and other stripes. There were pieces with striped fabric, yet topped with other handpainted lines, so sometimes, there were three layers of different kinds of stripes.

Although line prints are often thought as masculine and strict, Stripes Your Right to Party twisted that impression with lots of cheery, pastel colors and even glow-in-the-darks.

And as the cherry on top: neon colored lips and no shoes! The models were either barefooted or wear hand painted socks—with stripes motif, of course. If only the lips got the same stripes treatment.

Moon Berlin (www.moon-berlin.com)

Remember when Katy Perry made a bold entrance to the Costume Institute Gala with a light-up outfit? Or when Rihanna performed in flashing LED lights dress during her 2010 European tour? Those are examples that such clothing isn’t something you could only find in Back to the Future films anymore. And with Moon Berlin, light technology in apparels become even simpler, wearable, and closer to us.

Moon Berlin is a new label founded by German fashion designers Brigitte Franken and Christian Bruns. They integrate light-emitting components into fabrics to create beautiful and dynamic light/shadow effects on their women dresses. The micro technology is laminated onto the fabric, so you can’t remove it from the clothing, but you can conveniently wash it.

What’s more, the clothes also have sensors that react with the movement of the body, so if you are moving, the lights begin to shimmer faster and brighter. Welcome to the real 21st century!

Their first collection, “I’m Not A Robot”, was debuted in January 2011 Berlin Fashion Week and it shows how illumination can be implemented into ready-to-wear clothing without being gimmicky.

And we’re lucky enough to preview the collection right here at Jakarta Fashion Week.

Light in fashion has always been associated with science fiction theme, however, even at first glance, you’d see that the collection is not like that at all—hence, the name “I’m Not a Robot”. In fact, Moon Berlin did a great job of creating sophisticated and simple styles and inserting lights just as accents.

There were white blouses with black pants, inspired by the style of Marlene Dietrich, and also dresses inspired by the fashion of ancient Greece. Never have I seen such high-tech clothing that doesn’t look cliché and and Robocop-ish, but very wearable and appealing.

Silk tops were one of the best fabrics to be combined with the light, because it created a great silhouette without obstructing the view of the technology.

But all in all, I’m sure you’d agree with me if I say that without the light, you’d still have a good piece of clothing.

(We know, we know. You probably asked, “Where’s the light?”, but the truth it is so hard to capture the subtle, blinking light on camera. To see better, click here or here)

Our endless gratitude for the Goethe Institute and Jakarta Fashion Week who brought the German labels to Jakarta Fashion Week, otherwise we would never know such great work in the industry.