Gender Fluidity at Berlin Fashion Week A/W 16/17

By Chloe Rockwell-Townsend

emre erdemoglu aw1617 groupEmre Erdemoglu AW16/17 {source}

Ever since Berlin Fashion Week was established in Summer 2007, it has worked hard to gain international fashion status by offering a unique style ethos with gender fluidity at its core. Designers such as Kilian Kerner, Sarah Effenberger and Emre Erdemoglu emulated this gender fluid ethos at the A/W 16/17 shows by sending male and female models down the runway within the same show, styling models in an androgynous manner and offering up unisex designs.

Sarah Effenberger AW16/17, “Fomme” {source}

New talent Sarah Effenberger asks why, in such an open minded and liberated society are men so restricted from dressing in a sensual manner. Her motivations behind her unisex collection “Fomme” was to free men from their reserved dress and prove that a man can remain masculine in more decorative garments.  The collection shows men wearing skirts, chiffon and stereotypically feminine pussy bow ties, offering a fresh take on unisex items. A flowing grey chiffon blouse and wide leg trouser perfectly depicts Effenberger’s aim of showing how men can borrow from typically feminine styles, opening up a whole host of experimental dress opportunities.

Kilian Kerner AW16/17 “The Huntingans” {source}

Kilian Kerner who launched his label in 2004, was also seen embracing gender fluidity by sending both sexes down the runway in an Anna Wintour-inspired look complete with her signature bob and oversized sunglasses, adding an element of humour to his show. Designs were fairly muted in autumnal shades of camel, grey and black, focusing on the sharp tailoring and detailed with interesting bird motifs. The ambiguity of the models’ gender works extremely well in showcasing his creations achieving a great sense of fluidity, in both design and gender.

Emre Erdemoglu AW16/17 {source}

Emre Erdemoglu’s show was a spectacular blend of striking metallic ensembles in silver, rose gold and champagne, for both men and women including matching skirts and coats alongside more subdued monochrome pieces. Anyone brave enough to invest in a shimmering masterpiece from Erdemoglu’s collection will be sure to turn heads walking through the streets of Berlin come autumn.

Vladimir Karaleev AW16/17 {source}

Vladimir Karaleev‘s show was influenced by contemporary architecture and he demonstrates a clear understanding of clothing as both a medium of expression as well as its functional purpose. The dark understated colours combined with geometric shapes highlight his aim of creating clothing that capture one’s individuality whilst letting their personality remain the focal point.

Reviewing the diverse and exciting range of designer talent showcased at Berlin Fashion week has opened my eyes to the way in which we view gendered fashion. With gender fluidity being a key theme of Berlin Fashion Week ever since its conceptualisation,  it appears that the designers showcasing at Berlin Fashion Week along with a growing variety of other designers around the world are situating gender fluidity at the heart of their design aesthetic. Attitudes towards gender fluidity are progressively positive in today’s society and it seems we have a lot to thank for the designers that are using their creative talents to put gender neutral fashion on the map.

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