This weekend, in an deserted parking storage within the stylish Berlin neighborhood of Neukölln, a whole lot of membership children, vogue sorts, and expressive eccentrics made their means by means of a fog and graffiti-covered exhibition area.
Inside, Comme des Garçons offered a surrealistic movie to have fun the launch of its new fragrance collection Conflict, whereas upstairs in a vacant lot, Michel Gaubert live-streamed the contents of his iPhone to Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” Additional again, Alyx’s Matthew Williams paired up with artist Haruka Hirata to current a stay set up of Japanese ikebana flower arranging, impressed by their studio’s studied preparation for the 1017 Alyx 9SM present in Paris.
It was all a part of Reference Berlin, a brand new 24-hour vogue pageant platforming manufacturers from the Korean eyewear label Mild Monster to cult London menswear designer Martine Rose, who participated alongside creatives like photographer Matt Lambert and super-curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist. All of this got here collectively to type a patchwork of unexplored and unconventional concepts, with no relation to the style schedule, commerce reveals—or, in some instances, promoting something in any respect.
“For a very long time, Berlin’s been a metropolis of usually drastic adjustments,” stated Mumi Haiati, CEO of Reference Studios and the important thing organizer of the pageant alongside the founders of 032c journal, Joerg and Maria Koch. “Individuals right here understand how to deal with unusual conditions. I suppose you possibly can additionally name that creativity: There is a sense of freedom which makes it a spot for experimentation.”
The pageant started on Saturday and ran by means of to the early hours of Sunday, with nearly 40 contributors taking on the sprawling, derelict parking area to current below the theme “Working Out Loud”, an idea revolving across the sharing of knowledge within the post-digital age. An set up by MTV and design studio Selam X explored what magnificence means within the age of face filters and augmented actuality. Stroll by means of the neon-lit area and see your face flip silver and undefined on one display screen, clean and Botoxed on one other.
The transhuman duo Fecal Matter gave a chat on know-how and vogue, and all through the area, friends invited by the promoter of the queer techno get together Cocktail D’Amore appeared to really feel proper at residence, sitting on the bottom sipping Moscow Mules, taking within the exhibitions, and dancing on the storage roof because the solar went down.
It felt becoming to carry the occasion is in Berlin, a laid-back metropolis recognized for its low rents, techno scene and open, dynamic creative group. Style hasn’t at all times been a vital a part of town’s cultural cloth, however as Berlin continues to rework, it’s offering an area for uncooked collaboration that’s slowly opening to interactions from the skin.
Inside the context of the theme, the individuals in Reference got free rein to create no matter they needed; nonetheless, many have been drawn to the underground membership tradition so ingrained within the metropolis. Photographer Jordan Hemingway teamed up with Jan Heinrich with the assist of Dover Avenue Market, seeking to “the undocumented car whose designs dominate subculture and popular culture for the previous 30 years”. The car they’re referring to? Ecstasy capsules. In the meantime, Berlin-based artist Spilios Gianakopoulos offered an set up entitled “$€X”, and CCTV Radio—the brand new platform from the creators of TRADE Berlin—spun minimal, psychedelic techno in a smoky room on the highest ground of the parking deck.
“Berlin is residence to my inventive group and queer household and it provides me an open area to experiment and play that I’ve by no means discovered wherever else,” stated Lambert, who directed the movie for Comme des Garçons. “The whole lot is simply too simple typically and there’s not sufficient poetry,” added Adrian Joffe, the worldwide president of each Comme and Dover Avenue Market. “Berlin is the proper place for such belief and creation to happen.”