On a fire escape stairway near Ostbahnhof, fashionistas queue patiently. From afar this appears to be any typical Friday night in Berlin: potent bassline emanating from the brickwork, quiet buzz surrounding the vast building.
In fact, this is the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week, and what these people in their stylish attires are queuing for is the first of five shows which will take place across the weekend, each showcasing five to six designers, all of whom act to break genres and challenge restrictive attitudes in the notoriously elite fashion world.
…an age where diversity is (quite rightly) the hottest topic for any fashion magazine
Now in its fourth year, BAFW is the brainchild of Adam Rose, whose aim is to provide a platform for alternative concepts in fashion. In an age where diversity is (quite rightly) the hottest topic for any fashion magazine or media outlet, we can’t help but feel Adam’s onto something here.
Dancers, drag queens and grandmas are all present to strut their stuff
Of course there are your typical beautiful girls with long legs and small waists, who saunter the runway as they would in Paris or Milan, but by no means are they the only models present, nor do they represent a majority. Dancers, drag queens and grandmas (Justyna Koeke’s incredible show!) are all present to strut their stuff and show that fashion is not just for the elite, that in fact gender, race and age really are just constructs easily broken, and that the most interesting and beautiful runways are without a doubt the most diverse.
Saturday’s Alchemy shows celebrate each designer’s unrestricted creativity and innovation
In terms of the clothes, designers have been selected from across the world who represent non-conformity in their ideals and practices. Friday night’s shows, aptly named REUSE:it, showcases designers who do exactly this; create collections with sustainability and recycling at their core, and Saturday’s Alchemy shows celebrate each designer’s unrestricted creativity and innovation. In all, the weekend is a thoroughly exciting mix of art, performance and alternative fashion; in the words of Larry T, head designer of TZUJI, “it’s like a rock concert for fashion!”
Article by Eva Klein