Berlin Designers Hit Catwalk _ And Twitter

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BERLIN (AP) – Two unique German designers with a hip take on youth culture in the nation’s capital splashed the catwalk with wool caps, fire-engine red dresses and navy blues for men Friday evening at Berlin’s fashion week.

Strenesse Blue also ran a live Twitter stream on the Web, during its show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week – complete with pictures and backstage insights.

“We recommend: Wool caps worn differently,” read one tweet, linking to a photo of a model with a ski cap perched high on her head.

The family-owned company, based in southern Germany, showed models in sexy, playful clothing. Wide leather belts, ski caps and hoodies adorned most of the models, with colors alternating between neutral gray, black, beige and silver sparkle.

The theme of the collection was inspired by photographs of street fashion from the cities of Paris, Milan and Stockholm.

“So they actually reflect the style of these cities, or how we see the cities,” said Jenna Mathiasch, assistant to the head of southern Germany-based Strenesse Blue.

Berlin’s fashion week, which started Wednesday, has been host to Bread & Butter, a street and urban wear trade show; the PREMIUM trade show, with luxury brands; and other events. While both the trade shows wrap up Friday, models will stay on the catwalk through Saturday evening.

Kilian Kerner, a Berlin-based design firm, also showed its designs off Friday at both PREMIUM and on the catwalk. The collection went with bold reds for its women’s collection, and navy blues for the men.

The daring female designs included a black bustier bodysuit with a zipper down the front, a red flowing gown with sequin-adorned ribbons hanging down the back and a mostly see-through white dress with a printed silk bodice. The men’s designs were tight, while the pants had plenty of tucks and pleats.

Most of the creations also featured silk accents – men’s with boat print and women’s with horses.

Melanie Pfister, a design assistant, said its been great to have fashion week come to the brand’s home town. “It’s really, really cool,” she said. “We really love the Berlin fashion week, and we think it’s the time now to have it here.”

Over at PREMIUM on Friday, Marco Stein, a sales director for jeans brand 7 For All Mankind, said Berlin is a great place to be.

“Berlin has really that wow factor for everyone,” Stein said. “Wherever you go in Berlin, on every corner you see something new, something is happening. I really do not know any other city in Europe that would be as modern and as young and as inspiring as Berlin.”

In comparison, London is sophisticated and snobby, and Paris has a closed-off scene, he added. “I really think that Berlin really has it, and that’s also why people enjoy being here.”

German designers are also gaining relevancy, said Berlin designer Bernadett Penkov, who presented her new Penkov collection during a fashion show Wednesday.

“It’s still developing, but I think it has a chance because it really made such big steps from season to season,” she said. “I remember the first season they had Brandenburg Gate, which was really boring, concerning the shows.

“It’s developing slowly, which is really good, because Berlin has to find its own identity, and I think we’re on the right path.”

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