Berlin Fashion Week in Times of War
At the Fashion Week in Berlin, many participants showed their solidarity with Ukraine.
In the old Berlin power plant, models presented creations by Ukrainian designer Jean Gritsfeldt and carried a Ukrainian flag. Because he could not come to Berlin and the collection could not be delivered on time either, volunteers remade his designs so that they could be shown.
Harper's Bazaar described the Ukrainian designer's show as the most moving moment of Fashion Week Berlin - and a symbol of the power of the community.
The presentation of Jean Gritsfeld at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin had been planned for a long time. Then the circumstances changed dramatically. The designer decided not to leave his native country, despite the war. Instead, he wanted to fight on the ground - with his own means. In the first days of the war, he designed a new collection, completely different from the one he actually wanted to show in Berlin. A network of helpers from Fashion Revolution and Sustainable Fashion Matterz then began in the German capital to tailor the models according to the designer's sketches and instructions. This was the only way that the show could still take place - even if the designer was aware from the start that he would not be able to be there himself.
The designer did a video interview with Harper's Bazaar ahead of fashion week, in which he talked about how his special designs came about during this year's fashion week. Visibly moved, the designer said: “So many people helped to make this show a reality - without payment, just because they wanted to spread a message and set an example. Your support has given my team and I infinite strength. I am forever grateful for that.”
Before his show, the designer addressed the audience with the following words on a screen:
“Today is not the time to talk about fashion, but through fashion. Today we will not show the new season, today we do not show new looks because when you sit in a bomb shelter, or a dugout, or a basement, nobody cares what you wear. The main thing is to feel warm, comfortable and protected. Today we broadcast the feelings and sensations.”