photos: Theresa Kaindl
Fashion Week is wrapped up, and looking back on it I have mixed feelings about the whole thing, a variety of emotions that somehow still forms a coherent whole.
On the one hand I am really proud.
I’m super proud to see that Fashion Week Berlin managed to find a positive niche for itself, and that the event was presented in a new location, which clearly spoke of a new level of confidence. Some commentators felt that the Jandorf mall was too ‘shabby’ for the event. Well, I am really enthusiastic about it: concrete pillars where the plasterwork comes off, huge windows, lots of space and an unassuming entrance right in the center of town, well connected, high security and other, exciting hotspots close by. In my eyes the location is absolutely perfect. Berlin is not Paris or Milan – the city is famous for its rough charm, which finally seems to engulf the fashion scene as well. Bomber jackets instead of thin blazers, sneakers instead of high-heels. Berlin shows its unpretentious side. It’s what’s called the real side.
There is hope, after all!
The German designers did a great job, many of the collections that were shown here were absolutely up there, definitely on an international level. If there was only a bit more mutual support among the creators – the lack of it may be more of a limitation than we think.
Berlin is low budget, and the mood is very self-critical. People apologize for everything and nothing, instead using that energy for a few words of praise for colleagues and collaborators. There was a lot to be praised at this year’s Fashion Week: great organization, a fantastic location and even the weather was not all that bad, considering how tough it can get here in winter.
Among the highlights was the Vogue Fashion Salon, curated by Christiane Arp. I can only tip my hat to her, Christiane really elevated German fashion to a new level. Berlin is catching up with the hotspots of the world. Exciting up and coming designers mix up the dusty old fashion scene like a fresh breeze, and that’s exactly what’s needed. Creative, courageous players that have fun doing what they do. Wonderful to see that Vogue provides these designers a creative playground.
There’s only one small thing that I found really annoying this year. I’m kind of hesitant to even say it – I’m talking about influencers.
‘Are you an influencer yourself?’
It’s come to the point where it sends a chill down my spine when someone calls me influencer. My face freezes in those moments.
‘Well, actually, I’m a blogger’. My voice betrays my tension. ‘There is a difference, you know.’
Even a few years ago, I would never have imagined that it’d be so important for me to draw that distinction, that I would insist in being called a blogger. In fact, blogger used to be almost like a dirty word for all the girls who didn’t make it in the print world and now run a blog to vent their opinion and spread their shopping recommendations. In other words, blogging was seen as a plan B.
And now we have influencers. People that don’t even need a blog anymore – a selfie is all they need to convey a message. It goes without saying that this message can’t possibly be very deep, but that’s how it sometimes is in fashion. Deepness is not always what’s asked for, and sometimes it is outright rejected.
So, influencers have worked themselves all the way to the front row. One of the new developments is that model jobs go to girls with the biggest Instagram reach. Influencer – they are ubiquitous like sand on the beach, and easy to spot, just look out for the Gucci shirts and young faces. As always with phenomena that become so big that they can’t be escaped, this one is just plain annoying. I really wonder where this is all going to lead.
We used to complain about Z-list celebs in the front row, now it seems they have been replaced by selfie queens.
I really sympathize with so many editors that are getting more and more pissed off about getting seats in rows behind those influencers. It takes nerves to put up with the screaming, and they are in constant danger of ending up in the background of a selfie. They must be waiting hard for this bubble to burst – but we are not there yet, there is no end in sight. No light at the end of this tunnel yet. It all started as a democratization of the fashion industry, but all that remains of this liberation is a fierce competition of egos.
Even though I am an ‘influencer’ myself, it bothers me to see all this ass-kissing of brands around me. I don’t miss the times when you were laughed out of the room as a blogger, but now we’re moving into the other extreme. There has to be a good middle way, a balanced eye-to-eye level, don’t you agree? That would also bring some influencers back to reality.
Not everything is #allpinkeverything here, and not everything revolves around #goals.