Berlin fashion week: is the era of sweatpants over?




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For a while they were just handy. In the pandemic, it was easy to endure in sweatpants – or alternatively in pajamas with thick stockings on your feet. During the month-long lockdown, some people may also have gone other ways in terms of fashion. Or let’s say: no ways.


After a long break, a fashion week is now taking place in front of an audience in Berlin for the first time. The question also arises as to how the crisis is changing our style. Or whether she does that at all. Perhaps some priorities will also change.

Designer Florentina Leitner believes that people could feel more interested in experimenting again. The large catwalk in the power plant was opened with their designs on Monday evening. “Sometimes I also wear sweatpants,” said Leitner. But she didn’t include any in this collection because she hoped that “the jogging pants days” would be a bit over now.

They believe that with fashion people wanted to leave their dreary everyday life behind. And she has a few suggestions for that. Tight body suits, for example, printed and shiny. Flower pattern and feather headdress. Or a body with a swan. Some cuts are reminiscent of a sailor’s uniform. There is also a comfortable hoodie and oversized shirts.

Leitner’s designs are inspired by the question of what a trip to the moon might look like – and by Mondsee in Austria. She was often at the lake in her childhood, said the designer, who comes from Austria. She wanted to be inspired by the country, by traditional costumes and flowers. And she liked the combination of the opposing elements – space and lake area.

Even before the crisis, hardly anyone would have made it into space. Many had to skip their vacation because of the pandemic – or could only work from home. Others had to continue to drive to work, but could no longer go to the football stadium, the pub or the cinema. All things that can influence fashion.

Journalist Christiane Arp thinks it is a cliché to believe that people would sink into sweatpants. “I think it worked well for all of us for a while. Because we were at home,” said Arp, who was editor-in-chief of German Vogue for a long time. But going out and decorating herself is fun for her and others too – “and even more so today after these months”.

Arp was satisfied with the opening show. “That’s exactly what we should see more of in Berlin,” she said. It is important that young creative people have places to act out and also have the courage. Later there are more economic constraints for designers. Arp said that for her personally, fashion is still the place to be creative. “And when I see this, that’s great.”

Several events are running under the umbrella of the Berlin Fashion Week. Most recently, parts of the fashion week moved to Frankfurt, in Berlin there are still a number of shows, conferences and other formats. In addition to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, About You shows are planned for later, with collections by singer Lena Meyer-Landrut and Leni Klum, the daughter of Heidi Klum.

At the opening of the fashion week, Berlin’s Prime Minister Michael Müller was among the guests. The SPD politician said it was nice that things started again and that fashion could be celebrated. As always, there are a few things that you can imagine that you can wear well. “And I’m very skeptical about others.”

He believes that after the pandemic, hybrid formats will also be found in fashion and in the world of trade fairs and congresses. This means events that take place both on site and on the Internet. During the fashion week, for example, individual events have also been broadcast online for a long time. And what is Müller’s opinion on sweatpants? “It’s not my thing.”

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