German Elle celebrated its 20th birthday in Berlin Saturday night with a bash for 1,000 of the German fashion scene’s finest, plus many well-wishers, including painter Neo Rauch, collector and advertising mogul Christian Boros, actress Kim Cattrall and designers Albert Kriemler, Derek Lam and Phillip Lim.

It was also the debut of the Elle Fashion Star Award, also called the Mercedes in honor of Berlin Fashion Week’s sponsor, Mercedes-Benz. While the winners of the Best Collection, Platinum and Newcomer awards took no one by surprise — Raf Simons, Karl Lagerfeld and 6267/Gianfranco Ferré’s Roberto Rimondi and Tommaso Aquilano, respectively — Simon’s teary and heartfelt speech was certainly out of character, though no more so than Lagerfeld’s almost wordless acceptance of his award, which was presented by Claudia Schiffer. Twenty international designers sent over two looks from their current cruise collections to entertain the crowd. And Akris, Armani, Hugo Boss, Burberry, Roberto Cavalli, Chanel, Chloé, Dior, Escada, Alberta Ferretti, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Missoni, Strenesse, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Wunderkind and YSL also donated one specially designed outfit for an eBay auction to raise funds for SING, the charity founded by Annie Lennox to provide medical care for children with AIDS in South Africa.

This story first appeared in the July 22, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Lennox also performed, as did the group Texas. But perhaps the biggest gift to Berlin that evening was German publisher Hubert Burda and German Elle editor in chief Sabine Nedelchev’s public declaration that Germany needs a fashion capital, which is, not surprisingly, Berlin.

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