Dispatch From Berlin: Eclectic Vibes at Marc Cain’s Fall 2019 Show
"It’s almost as if all the colourful cognoscenti of Berlin has been rounded up then deposited into the lobby of this old Telecom building"
As I exit the extraordinarily plush Hotel de Rome in Berlin — I’ve just finished up interviewing a Very Important Celebrity — I overhear a hotel attendant remark that the weather outside is, “Just a friendly Berlin rain, to let you know you’re still in Germany.”
Indeed, the sky is a particularly brooding shade of grey as I trek a rather soggy two blocks to the Marc Cain show at Berlin Fashion Week. Arriving inside, however, is marked departure from the gloomy weather. It’s almost as if all the colourful cognoscenti of Berlin has been rounded up then deposited into the lobby of this old Telecom building: a man in zebra print pants mingles amongst women clad in floaty dresses, pinstripe suits brush up against leopard print and there’s a profusion of camel coats. The prevailing vibe is extremely eclectic.
The theme of the show is “Meet Me at the Train Station” and the set has been decked out accordingly. Cardboard cutouts of lampposts and a life-size version of a train dots the room. Adorably, the show’s volunteers are clad in black blazers paired with conductor’s caps.
As the lights dim, the opening model trots out in a glorious swinging camel coats paired with a chartreuse turtleneck and vinyl snake print pants. (Now I know where all the camel coats in the crowd have come from.) What follows is a vibrant, high energy collection that incorporated eccentric statement pieces like holographic black vinyl pants and magenta faux fur without ever feeling ridiculous. It was high fashion at its most democratic — even the loopier items still felt patently wearable. The biggest surprise was perhaps the use of kelly green, a colour which has felt strangely absent from the runway over the past decade.
The collection was Marc Cain’s first under the new design direction of Katja Konradi, the newly-appointed Managing Director of Design & Brand after the retirement of longtime creative director, Karin Veit.
“I would like to bring to the brand a little more modernity,” says Konradi in a post-show interview. “For me fashion needs to be a bit more ageless; it’s more about an attitude at the end of the day, and the values a woman really has.”
Marc Cain designs for clothes for every occasion, whether you’re a businesswoman on her way to work or a new mom on her way to a play date, Konradi continues. She wanted to create her first collection within the context of a location where all different kind of women who wear Marc Cain would meet. “The train station came to my mind because you can go by train to your gym, meet up with friends or go on a holiday trip,” she says.
Konradi’s youthful values have suffused Marc Cain’s latest collection with a lightness and joy. These are eminently flattering pieces that no doubt women will want to wear — to the train station and beyond.