Studio Obectra presented their sixth collection in ‘Decomposition’ on Saturday at Festsaal Kreuzberg.
Apt for October, Obectra’s third fashion show in Berlin explored the cycle of life in thirty-two black outfits; from birth, death, and rebirth to sex, love and romance.
Making excellent use of the venue space, the packed show opened with Andrea Galad performing a jarring, emotional and exemplary piece of contemporary dance. A hooded DJ, Nicolas Bougaïeff, played a live set of darkly ambient electronic music.
After making a few flailing rounds across the room, Galad collected three roses from three different audience members, smelling them, admiring them and, in a show of unrequited love, angrily throwing them into the burning fire pit in the middle of the space. He then stoically danced off the floor as a storm of sonic shrills simmered back down to a calm atmosphere of anticipation.
Intending to explore the limits of the human body, designer Blaž Čuk sent models down the runway tied-up, hand-cuffed, and wrapped in chains and cotton rope. BDSM, club culture and the Japanese art of rope bondage (know as Kinbaku, or shibari) were some of the main inspirations for this year’s collection, as well as for the label over all.
Model’s heads and faces were half-covered in leather headpieces or black plastic and foil with rose heads stuck in small openings, questioning gender and identity.
‘Decomposition’ showed an innovative take on both functional and extravagant club wear. Hardcore, eyebrow raising outfits consistently appeared in-between soft, silky silhouettes; a diverse collection of pieces for those in love with fetish wear as well as for those just curious.
The last model to appear was wrapped tightly in shiny black plastic and effectively symbolized the theme of ‘Decomposition’ as she violently ripped it off her person, revealing a bare and stained chest, and throwing the plastic shreds to the ground before exiting. A loud and sustained applause accompanied the final walk of the models and the audience caught a quick, confident smile from the designer as he showed love for the crowd.
IndieBerlin caught up with Čuk to talk about his inspiration for Obectra, ‘Decomposition’, and Berlin fashion.
“I named the collection ‘Decomposition’, because it can be something romantic,” Blaz told us, “…how Mother Nature takes care of us, after our spirit leaves our body. I wanted to take this idea and translate it into clothes, accessories, music, dance and wrap it into one nice show.
“I’m always inspired by the fetish world, mostly BDSM. I never want Obectra be a fetish brand, just inspired by it.”
“I studied the materials that are used when it comes to death and the grave. When a person dies, they put him into a black plastic bag. So black foil was a big part of the collection… The contrast between romantic roses and roses for the grave gave me chills, so I wanted to included that, too.”
“[Other materials included] gauze and all the fabrics that I usually use; leather, wool and cotton. I’m a big fan of natural materials and some of the pieces are made from GOTS certified organic cotton. This is the future and I’m really excited about. I want to explore it more.”
“Materials are half of the collection. It’s really important what you choose (and choose not) to put on your body.”
Working out of Neukölln, Berlin has been a very hospitable city for Obectra since it’s start in 2012.
“Berlin always was and will be the best inspiration for my work. Nightlife subculture is so powerful and so beautiful. You can have your best and worst time of your life in Berlin…. I find it poetic and romantic.”
Obectra’s 2017 collection, ‘Zwei’, was presented at the Berlin Alternative Fashion Week last year.
“Berlin fashion has something special. We are building a scene and helping each other a lot and it makes me so happy when people join creative forces and support each other. This is more important for me then anything. Berlin accepted me and my fashion with warm hands and because people are buying my clothes I’m able to keep growing my business.”
“I cant ask more from the Berlin fashion scene at this point. I´m very grateful and wouldn’t change a thing about it. We are open-minded here and people appreciate hard work.”
“[Obectra’s] online shop is focused only on leather gear right now. It’s what we sell the most all over the world. Clothes are something to add in the future.”
Studio Obectra values self-reflection, evolution and a determined focus on progress, and Čuk draws inspiration from fashion giant Rick Owens. “[Owens] once said that he studies his own work the most. Learning from your mistakes —and your success— is what can make you great.”
“I’ve learned a lot…As a fashion designer (and as every artist) you need to grow all the time.
“Obectra and I will keep growing. I promised myself I would make one huge step forward every year, and so 2019 will bring some new steps… I´m currently planning two already. Stay tuned!”