Friday 15th July the Berlin fashion scene gathered at a rather unusual location. Wedding Crematorium Vaults housed the unveiling of Hermione Flynn’s new collection. Flynn is ever growing on the fashion scene, originally from New Zealand where she trained as a performance artist, she has built a reputable name for herself her in Berlin and is set to head to New York Fashion Week later this year.
Upon entering the vaults it was a stark contrast from the ivy covered stone work outside in the courtyard. Inside was a industrial wash of white made brighter by long fluorescent lighting. We were instructed to follow the arrows down into the main room. There we climbed down the steelwork stairs into a vast expanse of stark emptiness. A plywood runway stretched the length of the room and chairs in three formation punctuated breaks along the runway.
Small TV screen showing in loop previous collections and showcased just how performance has helped shaped Hermione Flynn’s designs. Upon turning the corner there was a huge pile of plastic chairs in what can only described as an installation piece. Instead of sitting and remaining immobile we were encouraged to mingle and interact with the evening’s events.
There was a photographer’s station complete with white screens and lighting effects. A cleverly positioned television screen allowed us to see the photographs of the models being snapped. A quick insight into the photographer’s vision. The guests were all in their Berlin best with an abundance of sneakers, leather and black dotted around the space. The odd statement piece appearing in the form of a Rick Owen’s bandage hoodie, a deep emerald green fur coat slung over the shoulders and a neon bralet with sheer cups.
As I’ve learnt being in Berlin this past year you can wear whatever you want as long as you wear it with a shit hot attitude. In the corner a DJ played away, electro house echoing round the empty space and in the opposite corner a wooden bar serving Our/Berlin Vodka and tonics, a welcome refreshment for everyone on a Friday night.
There was no sense of gender, all lines were blurred
The show began without announcement, the models walked amongst us. This allowed us to see the movement and detailing of the pieces. Base colours like black, white and beige took prevalence and were cleverly set against the different skin tones of the multi ethnic models. Flowing trousers and tight sheer tops contrasted against huge masses of tunics, dungarees and gowns and this was just on the men. There was no sense of gender, all lines were blurred. Every now and again there would be a hyper electric blue piece sent down the runway which jolted the senses and it instantly filled the room with colour.
The models distorted their figures allowing the fabrics to fill the space and create new structure
The models walked down the runway taking a sharp left hand turn into the photographer’s station. They would each be photographed separately and then in group of two of three would interact with each other. This is where the performance work really came into play.
The models distorted their figures allowing the fabrics to fill the space and create new structure, lifting each other bending, wrapping around limbs, it all created powerful photographs all of which were shot so the models were in silhouette. This again distorted not only colour but gender and in some ways the human figure.
Hermione Flynn was hands on with her staff and photographer. Flynn herself in that exuberant electric blue set against a bright blonde choppy bob. As all outfits were showcased the models returned to walk the floor one last time. The crowd erupted in applause feeling very much that they themselves had been part of something.
Punchy clean lines mixed with an exaggeration of the female frame
I personally enjoyed the show very much, it’s so exciting to see fashion being taken out of runway constraints. You quite literally didn’t know where to look. I feel deeply in love with a floaty beige pair of flares teemed with and oversized yet tight jumper an all together very Celine look with its punchy clean lines mixed with an exaggeration of the female frame.
The showstopper had to be the electric blue off the shoulder ball gown worn by a rather broad and muscular black model, the colour worked wonderfully with his skin tone and the mass of swirly fabric contrasted high femininity against his manly frame.
Flynn is on all major social media sites so to see more for yourself simply type her in online. Her main site allows you to watch for yourself the performance videos of past seasons. I remain excited as to what Flynn will do next.
Review by Chloe Gale
Photos by David Ople