When it comes to composition, storytelling, or pure emotional grit, designer graduates are unhinged in their creativity. A “Look at EDGE” presents Neo.Fashion.’s showcase of emerging talent from Germany university graduates. They dream (and execute) the improbable, the impossible, feeding our desires of want, although more clothes we don’t need, the visual consumption of the art is always a craving, something we do need. Mostly, their body of work has meaning, through examination of cultural, subcultural, cross-cultural societal ills and joys. Their fashions record the zeitgeist, aesthetically eye-popping and mesmerizing, with a touch of thought-provoking whims.
Neo.Fashion., which first premiered in 2017, is a platform promoting young fashion design talent in Germany, particularly showcasing the best of graduates from all across the country. It is the largest fashion graduate event in Germany, with a record 2021 participation of 13 universities and over 80 graduates. The “Best Graduates’ Show” and the “Neo.Fashion. Award” for outstanding creative collections took place for the first time at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
How can the world benefit from a new crop of talent, especially since there are too many clothes out there? Clothes clearly outnumber the 7.9 billion people on the planet. Do we really need more? I believe more than half the existing designers and brands shouldn’t even bother to produce clothes. Although fashion has its utilitarian purpose, we can view it more than just a consumptive object. That’s what the new generation of designers are doing. They are feeding us an intelligent dialogue on fashion’s contribution to art, culture, and practices of sustaining earth’s resources.
Congratulations to all 80 participants – an enjoyable ride down the runway!
A “Look at EDGE”, a fashion library of the vanguard, curates a select few of Neo.Fashion.21 designers whose collections make socially relevant statements and offer storytelling through a fashion lens we don’t often see. The messaging is clear and vibrant, taking us to an imaginative artistic state. It’s important to recognize creativity and vision when we see it. These are not renewable resources. Society and the industry must care or we will lose the talent who possess these.
Take a Look at work from designers: Larissa Pascale Binder’s “My haters are like stars. . .” collection inspired by 2020’s social unrest demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd; Damian Ohl’s “Bondo” collection combats the subject of genital mutilation in the Bondo Secret Society of Sierra Leone; Flora Taubner’s unsettling “Value” body of work shakes up our values on fashion; Sirima Ehmke’s “On the Mend” beautifully conveys ‘how wasteful we are’, making the case to extend the life-cycle of fashion through mending; Pepe Jo Kaul’s “Instant Fashion” is a spoof on fast fashion, paralleling instant noodles with fast fashion; plus many more designers that use their collections to bear witness to the zeitgeist of our times.