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Berlin Fashion Week got off to a clean and simple start with young Berlin designer Hien Le moving into the coveted opening slot, formerly occupied by the likes of Escada Sport and Schumacher. While Le is one of Berlin’s leading proponents of minimalist style, this time he took a more sensuous turn with a shimmery ombré print he said was inspired by Mark Rothko, but which also called to mind an oil slick on a Monet pond.

This collection — Le’s fifth — repeated many of his already established hallmarks: skinny, abbreviated plackets on shirts and tops for men and women; rounded blouson jackets turned into coats; a fondness for Alcantara material, and his signature shirtdress, which elegantly moved ahead in oyster silk with narrow belts looped through the folded back panel. Le went on to use folds and tucks to create shape, textural contrasts to provide visual interest and depth to otherwise tone-on-tone looks, while cashmere and wool added a comfort factor to his version of Berlin cool.

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