Who? Sarah Broecker
What? Neo.Fashion.: Graduate Shows and Awards
Where? Berlin Fashion Week
Why designs by Sarah Broecker matter?
“404”; “ERROR”; NO!; YES! are selfie protest messages, and wait, there’s more: “SHARE?” “NO THANKS”; YES//NO DECIDE; “future has been updated!”; “I am here”; “please try again”. “Bags are our daily companions, and in my experience many people have stronger feelings for them than other parts of their wardrobe. Their content is often very private; they are the protection of what we absolutely want to have with us. Personally, what fascinates me about the design of bags is that they have to work both on the body and independently of it. On the one hand, they are independent objects”, says Sarah Broecker whose “Y / N SELECT” collection of bags is a result of her enthusiasm of a category of clothing that she believes is minor in the look of fashion. She set out to change that!
This collection, a combination of leather and textiles with typography and print, deals with the phenomenon of the selfie protest, which has increased significantly, especially due to the current pandemic. Broecker claims that selfie protests can be seen as a digital interpretation of public demonstrations: “people stage themselves photographically with a written protest message and spread their selfie on social media, create a hashtag network with all other protest participants and thus form a digitally networked group.” But online protest fuels criticism as she notes, “this type of online protest is also criticized, mostly only to serve political self-expression and less to protest against grievances. The dichotomy between new, global and barrier-free protest options and the accusation of narcissistic self-interest is the basis of Y / N SELECT.”
Broecker created the bag collection to reflect selfie protest and question the protesters’ intentions. She reveals, “texts based on protest slogans and error / confirmation messages from the computer encourage you to question your own actions and protests in the digital public. Elements of exaggeration are combined with symbols from internet platforms, the bags combine impressions from real protest marches and the aesthetics of social media; they serve more as a communication surface than as a commodity.”
“A Look at EDGE” 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. Broecker’s message is bold, in both object and subject. Her body of work is an art statement of imagination and interpretation of the historical and cultural significance of selfie protest.
Feature Image: Sarah Broecker, designer | Neo.Fashion. Graduate Show – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin September 2021 | Photo by Robert Schlesinger/Getty Images for Neo.Fashion.