For spring 2016, Kilian Kerner went for camouflage of a different sort. He staged his 20th show — always a watershed for a Berlin-based designer — against a backdrop that in its blown-up proportions matched one of his seasonal motifs: a large-scale prismatic patchwork design in bright and somewhat acidic tones. Backstage, he said the pattern was inspired by desert rock formations, the colors then filtered through a Los Angeles lens.
Onstage, women wore the almost-upholstery-weight woven as a sleeveless coat over easy separates in viscose jersey, or alone as a three-quarter sleeve shift. For men, Kerner transformed the fabric into a punchy sweater and cabana shirt as well as pumpkin or acid green street-style athletic shorts. The other light-to-heavy motif — chevrons — came every which way: printed, quilted, woven, beaded and even pleated.
Kerner’s intentionally commercial formula, marketed this season as “the chemistry between different things,” also included sporty and dressy or textural contrasts, softly unraveling knits and some serious beading on otherwise straightforward cream dresses. And while meant to be an eye-catcher, the pearl spider web embroidery on the shoulders of some styles looked fairly preyed upon.