POSEN’S CHOSEN: At Zac Posen’s debut as patron of the Designer for Tomorrow competition for young designers during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, he started off with a call for the impressive, the outlandish, and the unique. “I want to find designers where I don’t feel the reference,” he said.
He was rewarded with houndstooth tornados, silky bows, draped and trailing water lily looks, and ice-cream-hued Neoprene. But in the end, the wearable and beautifully crafted collection “Acting Big” from Berlin-based Marieke Massing took top marks from Posen and the jury of industry insiders. Massing, a graduate of the city’s University for Applied Sciences, created a series of black-and-white looks consisting of fine windowpane wovens, with open elements, panels and fringe inspired by intellectual femme fatale Alma Mahler-Werfel, wife of composer Gustav Mahler, architect Walter Gropius, and poet Franz Werfel.
In all, five contestants from around the world — Lithuanian Oksana Anilionyte from London College of Fashion, Brit Victoria Irving from Northumbria University in Newcastle, Colombian-born Nicolas Martin Garcia of Accademia Costume & Moda in Rome, and Pakistan’s Syed Shahid Nisar from Kingston University in London — competed in last week’s event.
Massing’s prize is a one-year sponsorship package including a visit to Posen’s studio and New York Fashion Week show, as well as her own runway event at next year’s MBFWB, where the Designer for Tomorrow competition has taken place since 2009.