Nathini van der Meer
Showing: MBFWB, The Stage at ME Collectors Room
Caviar jet beading on a sturdy carpenter’s vest or sheer Lycra spandex top. Cashmere lined in synthetic mesh. Seatbelt and para-cord details, sometimes intricately knotted. Hand-woven tire-rubber patches on soft sheer pants. Zips that hide, reshape or reveal. Embroidery on tech textiles. Street-bound flight suits. Rubble and romance. Girls and guys together. Two sizes — small-medium and medium-large — only. One all-season collection a year.
Meet Nathini van der Meer: A 28-year-old designer and Berlin University of Arts graduate, filmmaker and videographer — her latest for Adidas Tubular — and globetrotter. (Her next jaunt: submarining underwater goldmines in Alaska.) To be accompanied by a film, her third collection, “The Last Frontier,” unites it all. Van der Meer has drawn hot press coverage and enough word-of-mouth-driven sales to break even, but now wants to pick up the pace. After her MBFWB launch, she plans to take her film and 24-piece collection (wholesaling from 180 to 470 euros, or about $200 to $525 at current exchange, and higher for elaborate, special order pieces), to Los Angeles where she’s headed for her film work.
“All designers have a second job these days,” she said, “and film’s a great way to bootstrap your label.” — Melissa Drier
Designers: Jale Richert and Michele Beil
Showing: Showroom in Richert Beil Studio
Working in tandem, designers Jale Richert and Michele Beil — who have been a couple since they met in 2009 — make complimentary minimalist men’s and women’s wear with a touch of whimsy.
Recalling their university days at Berlin’s Esmod fashion school, Richert said, “I always thought the [men’s wear] Michele wore and designed looked so great, and I thought, ‘Why don’t we have these for women?'”
Richert Beil’s simple, elegant pieces are a dialogue between the genders — sometimes harmonic, sometimes tense, but never unisex. Their goal is an annual collection of designs updated or customized seasonally.
The duo favors substantial pieces such as coats, jackets and sweaters, some made from loden or other fabrics used in traditional German tracht — clothing based on costumes worn at celebrations, folk events and by hunters. Closures are hidden, or nonexistent.
Adjusted for summer, light fabrics and relaxed cuts soften the look. A men’s blazer is cinched with an attached belt ending in D-rings; for women, it’s a vest. A tiny zipper in the silk lining allows easy access for alterations and repairs. Last season’s standout blouses, which feature partial pie-crust collars, are updated with quirky embroidery.
Prices range from 150 euros ($169) for a simple blouse to 500 euros ($563) for an embroidered version, to 8,500 euros ($9,565) for an embellished coat.
Richert Beil sells via its own online shop; the designers’ plan is to offer custom pieces as an incentive to retailers to carry the collection. — Susan Stone
Designer: Sandra Dresp
Showing at: Premium
Berlin native Sandra Dresp, who this month won Premium’s spring 2017 Young Designer Award for activewear, has always been fixated on the body. While studying fashion design at her hometown’s University of Applied Sciences, she interned at a London-based corset designer and went on to work in fetish and shapewear for latex couture label Très Bonjour upon her graduation in 2009.
“I do a lot of sports, so it was a personal desire to create sportswear that becomes multifunctional. It’s a beautiful thing if you can wear it outside the active context and even combine it with eveningwear,” Dresp said.
Her predominantly black collections combine power-shape materials with silky jersey and mesh, working with cutouts and layers to create elegant, geometric, yet functional designs. The spring line, dubbed “Coral Noire,” has an underwater theme with accents of turquoise, coral and aquatic plant patterns and prints.
Unlike most young designers in town, she started right away with an on- and off-line store. “We were also approached by fashion concept stores because they look for something that goes well with a fashion concept. And that’s exactly what we want, because we see ourselves as a fashion brand,” she said, pointing to fashion items like evening dresses and jackets that make a quarter of the collection.
A classic sports bra retails for 109 euros ($123), yoga leggings are 259 euros ($292) and an evening dress is 720 euros ($813). — Quynh Tran