When it comes to setting a scene, William Fan clearly took the prize in Berlin. Not only was the former East German State Council building a monumental venue, but within, Fan created a lively Chinatown alleyway glimpsed behind see-through red plastic curtains.
For in this third chapter of an ongoing and all-gender fashion narrative, after a wild disco night and the subsequent bleary-eyed chill-out day, Fan sent his clientele to Chinatown to reboot, have their nails, hair and laundry done, as well as pick up some edibles. As for what to wear, in a season that has seen Germany’s young creatives either pushing or refining their codes, Fan let his explode. Signature bell cuffs and hanging shirttails drooped beyond long; loose pants belled widely or waved into patch pockets gaping below the knee; sashes extended; favored pinstripes got an erratic Swarovski sparkle; magnified Chinese blossoms popped on newly introduced knitwear; abbreviated vests and a bolerolike sweater skimmed over unlikely layers, while sleeves were slit, removed, or left hanging like banners.
On the fabric front, the gamut was wider than ever, from pristine cotton to 3-D Mylar looks, fine wool glen checks to green panné velvet fused with neoprene, China dragon jacquards to teddy or poodle plush. Easy? No, but as Fan told WWD before fashion week, “the show will be extreme but the basics are there. Just hidden.”
In a market oversaturated with sameness, perhaps that’s precisely where the fashion-oriented customer wants them to be.