As one of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin’s first day closing shows, ESTHER PERBANDT decided to make a proper evening out of it. Hosted at the Volksbühne in Berlin Mitte, the acclaimed designer turned the presentation of her new collection into a real performance.
The Berlin-born designer is, to this day, a key player on the German fashion scene. Renowned for her avant-garde, androgynous looks, Perbandt is really a figure in the German capital and has fans all over the country. This earned her an impressive following, who all came to the show and clapped and cheered at the end louder than ever experienced. By mixing fashion and performance, the designer/show woman created a real craze around her, as going to her show means being entertained for the whole night.
The show opened with a speech pronounced in front of a light bulb. This theatrical element gave the note for what followed – three amazing acts where grandiose reflected the creator’s mind. Dramatic effects succeeded one another and kept the audience entertained for 30 minutes, as a live orchestra, dance moves and a rotating stage each added their touch to the show.
The first act consisted of all black looks, where details such as hoods, part-fur coats and pompom details on the shoes brought in their side of extravagance. Then, a second act started with a new element added in: grey checks. Also, the models started following a choreography, when after walking down the stage, they would each stay on a part of it to swing from one leg to the other to the sound of a melancholic music. As the orchestra became more dancing, the models started reflecting it with swirls and waltzes. Once this act done, the black curtain at the back of the stage fell, revealing a white wall on which a woman’s shadow dressed in Perbandt – topped of with the emblematic hat – initiated some contemporary dance moves. As the third act introduced white shirts to lighten up the otherwise all black outfits, the craziness carried on, as a model came down perched on 2-metres tall stilts. Finally, the model to close Perbandt’s collection was none other than Germany’s first supermodel, Veruschka, who exhibited a typical all black, layered look, hand in hand with the designer herself.
As the finale took place, the show’s global feeling was that of an extravagant darkness, where touches of light – in the opening speech, some models’ white hair, the back wall and tailored shirts – actually reflected the mind of a true artist. In the end, Esther Perbandt stayed true to herself: monochrome looks, garments found on both women’s and male’s in a perfect description of androgyny and gender fluidity. As an incredible show woman, her show ended with all the models on stage, which started rotating as fake snow added a last white touch to her designs.
Coming off the Volksbühne after a 30-minute long performance sure left us smiling. Walking down the theatre’s steps, people could still hear claps, cheers and comments of their admiration for the artist. And a true artist she is – which is why she is considered one of Berlin’s major designers.