Monday, 12 July 2010

Boss Black's Big Top Moment

Hugo Boss, Germany's biggest fashion label, staged a mammoth runway show in Berlin Thursday, July 8, building a runway and a restaurant for 1,300 in two massive circus marquees.

The double big tops were a fitting symbol for Boss, by far the most important luxury brand in Europe's biggest economy. Completely white outside, the two tents were entirely black in their interiors, aptly so since the large crowd had gathered to witness the spring 2011 collection of Boss Black, the house's top line, featuring both men and women on the enormous catwalk. And, in a curious example of symmetry, the show marked the first by Boss Black's new creative consultant Graeme Black, who previously worked for Giorgio Armani prior to launching his own signature label in London.

The models rolled out in a collection where, at least for women, the key was fluid use of volume. Using a print-free choice of fabrics and focusing on soft mono-color hues like coral, beige and cobalt, the collection largely waved aside recent global runway seasons, which have been dominated by floral and abstract prints.

What worked best were the Japanese style pants in subtle checks, volume and dimpled skirts, and long, sinuous caftans.

"To my mind, Boss creates clothes that flatter a lady. This collection certainly does," said Jessica Alba, the American actress on something of a European fashion tour. On Monday, she sat front-row at Christian Dior and on Tuesday attended Chanel, both in Paris, then winged into Berlin for this huge event.

For guys, Boss Black wants to see them next spring in a newly proportioned suit. Cut with a short jacket and large back vents, yet also with large shoulders and forgiving pants, the look played with the modern micro jacket, yet gave it a more plausibly commercial twist. Made in some great powder blue seersucker, and off-the-moment ginghams, the choice was conventional but also cool.

Post-show, Boss wined and dined its guests in the second charmingly lit marquee, in rough-hewn tables placed around old olive trees.

"I have to say I enjoyed the evening immensely," said Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit. "The show and party were both chic. Berlin is on the move in fashion terms, which makes us happy."