One of Berlin’s most cerebral and serious designers, Michael Sontag introduced a new sense of ease and even dishabille with his spring collection. Working with artist Caroline Bayer on a zigzagged runway reflecting the pyramid roof structure of Berlin Fashion Week’s new show venue in the Erika-Hess Ice Stadium, Sontag also played with all manners of points and Vs: assymetric hems of scarflike skirts and lapels, the necklines and sleeves of tuniclike tops and arty shifts, the simplest red toga gown and a series of navy and white pieces cut and sewn together in stripes or fractured patterns.
While still voluminous, Sontag’s folded and draped silks, both shiny and raw, managed to move close to the body, while tailored items like a sleeveless short white coat and boxy lapel-less black cardigan jacket added some edge. Silk knits stood out, from the simplest sweater dress to various items with weblike straps and bodices formed via rips. As Sontag noted after the show, “I don’t draw my pieces. I literally work on them.”