The month of July saw us getting whisked off to the exclusive Hugo Spring/Summer’19 show at the recent Berlin Fashion Week. I arrived in the historic city at the height of summer; the warm weather, coupled with the elegant architecture that littered the clear European skyline, acted as the perfect backdrop for an exciting evening with Hugo ahead.
(1) The Space: Motorwerk Berlin
Hugo Spring/Summer’19 took place in no other than Motorwerk Berlin, a sprawling warehouse complex that had been converted into an events space in recent years. I later found out that in its early days, the unique complex had played a vital role as a central hub for Berlin techno, a subtle foreshadowing of what the night had in store for us.
A large crowd had already gathered when our car rolled up over the gravel driveway. Through the flashing lights of paparazzi cameras, I spotted a couple of today’s fashion luminaries the likes of models Winnie Harlow and Presley Gerber, and European influencers like Tommy Hey.
I got a sneak peek at Moterwerk’s interiors before the show started too – the entire complex had been converted to resemble an underground techno club. Adding to the show’s club scene vibe was the seating arrangement. The podiums erected directly on the runway didn’t just give us better access to the collection; when the show started later, I felt like I was in the middle of a dance floor, embracing a rave head on with models zipping through from (seemingly) all directions.
(2) The Show: Hugo Spring/Summer’19
A distinct hush fell over the hall mere moments before Hugo Spring/Summer’19 kicked off. As an otherworldly music resembling bell chimes played, the strobe lights illuminating the runway flickered and went out, one by one. A red light enveloped the hall and a sole model ventured out, officially kicking off the show.
The theme for Hugo Spring/Summer’19 can be described with a single, evocative word: mixmasters. To put it simply, the collection had found its muse in the daring spirit of individuals who experimented by mixing and matching pieces from the different decades to create their personal style. Here are our first impressions of the new collection: the menswear line – comprising loose-fitting silhouettes and casual cuts, as well as some slouchy suit jackets and athletics-inspired pieces – had been inspired by the heydays of the 90s.
Keeping up with its empowering touch, Hugo Spring/Summer’19 aimed to return autonomy to fashion lovers by offering them a DIY approach to style. The collection also played a lot with contrasts, both in terms of materials and colours by utilising natural fibres and synthetic materials in solid blues and outlandish neons. During the night, I saw quirky combinations such as oversized linen jackets draped over technical silk shirts and soft ribbed knits matched with Lycra cycling shorts. Even the more subdued looks – for example, vivid mesh linings beneath perforated wool suits – contained finer details that hinted at the rebellious energy of millennials.
According to Hugo designer Bart De Backer, Hugo Spring/Summer’19 was an homage to the city of Berlin and its citizens. Citing that none of the items would look out of place on the city’s streets, he shared that they had revisited Hugo archives from the 90s while coming up with the collection too. Design elements of the era that were evident in Hugo Spring/Summer’19 included men’s mesh T-shirts with graphics inspired by Berlin walls decked out with club posters.
Check out all the menswear looks from Hugo Spring/Summer’19 here:
(3) The After Party: Wiz Khalifa
Minutes after the Hugo Spring/Summer’19 show ended, a stage on the other end of the hall lit up, revealing none other than Wiz Khalifa! The popular American rapper performed four songs before giving way to DJ sets from Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann, DJ Hell and Ellen Allien.
Guests who wanted some fresh air during the after party were in for a treat too. They had the option of heading out to the Motorwerk’s grounds, where they could enjoy the late night summer air while chilling out on mounted Casper mattresses, and indulge in snacks and refreshments.
By Anis Taufik