Characterised by history and cultural diversity and acknowledged as one of the most dynamic emerging cities in Europe, Berlin is a fascinating metropolis. With its vibrant underground music scene, alternative art and eclectic fashion, an inspiring air of creativity and an alluring sense of style permeate the streets of the progressive capital. Because of this, Berlin has cemented itself as a city at the heart of urban street culture, a place where a selection of the most sought-after international denim and urban street wear brands come together biannually to present exclusive collections at trade shows such as Bread and Butter, BRIGHT, Capsule and SEEK. These highly anticipated shows allow a glimpse of the unique denim and street wear looks that will be coveted two seasons ahead of time.

Previewing a range of denim and street wear collections for spring / summer 2013 and autumn / winter 2013, it is interesting to consider the spectrum of subcultures from which street wear takes much of its inspiration; to observe that modern street wear is staying true to its roots whilst also evolving to adapt to the modern consumer. Street wear is almost impossible to define, yet really, the name says it all. It represents clothing that we see on the street and is indicative of the attitudes and lifestyle choices of the individuals who wear it. Referencing art and music, the sixties, the eighties, skateboarding, surf and hip-hop culture, street wear fundamentally explores expression and the art of living; it embraces the freedom of being an individual, endorsing originality and alternatives. There is something distinctly refreshing, liberating even, about clothing lines that are more concerned with expressing attitudes than adhering to trends.

That said, as with most things, style develops and good ideas catch on, and modern street wear and sportswear concepts are increasingly influencing mainstream and high fashion design. From prominent designers such as Givenchy, Phillip Lim and Alexander McQueen, street wear inspired clothing has emerged as a key component of various high-end Spring 2013 collections. Yet as high fashion brands take inspiration from street wear looks, authentic street wear brands are increasingly incorporating classic elements such as tailoring into their men’s and womenswear collections. This has led to the creation of a new wave of timeless street wear, which feels polished, yet still retains the coarseness for which street wear is renowned.

Detailed below are some key denim and street wear influences for 2013 identified in Berlin and a selection of international brands to look out for.

Tailoring.

The new street wear aesthetic is refined but relaxed, maintaining the gritty edge of authentic street wear whilst blending smart cuts and classic tailoring to form an effortless modern statement. Inspired by the classical proportions of traditional boys clothing, the fall 2013/14 collection by German brand SISSI GOETZE is based on the interplay of seemingly contradictory aspects of men’s fashion. Layering casual t-shirts beneath structured jackets and tailored coats is a perfect way to strike a balance of sophisticated and street.

tailored streetwear
SISSI GOETZE F/W 13/14. Photos: Julia Schoierer

tailored streetwear
SISSI GOETZE F/W 13/14. Photos: Julia Schoierer

80s and 90s.

Revisiting experimental 1980s origins, wild prints, bold clashing colours and contrasting silhouettes are prominent features of the 80s/90s street wear vibe for 2013. Influenced by 1980s print graphics, work wear and a casual street attitude, British brand Supremebeing’s evolved fall 2013 collection is one example where a range of garment styles and materials are blended with bold colour-blocking and vivid graphic print to create an eclectic offering for those who want to set themselves apart. Bomber jackets, sneakers and boxy tops add a ‘back to collage’ vibe to this 80s/90s theme, which is all about the contrast and confidence of wearing colour, texture and print simultaneously and audaciously. The braver the better; revel and rebel.

90s inspired street wear
From Supremebeing F/W ’13

90s inspired street wear
From Supremebeing F/W ’13

Global Sportswear.

Increasingly influenced by what we see in the world around us, the combined influences of sportswear and global culture unite to form a key street wear look for 2013. An amalgamation of east meets west and sportsman meets traveller, French brand Etudés No. 3’s autumn / winter 2013 collection embodies the spontaneity of a traveller with the stature of a sportsman. Effortlessly merging ethnic prints with sporting silhouettes, black and cobalt blue are key colours, with a hint of mint green, peach or dusky pink to suggest a touch of the exotic. Minimal, oversized sportswear pieces compliment the intricate details of cultural dress. Wear sturdy sneakers or walking boots to enforce conviction as a global explorer.

global traveller street wear
From Etudés F/W ’13

Military.

Military style is about power and control. Always a key source of inspiration for denim brands, military looks are reinvented most seasons, however for 2013, G-Star RAW’s innovative autumn/winter military influenced collection proves that military is not limited to the ranks of army-inspired khaki and camo print, but instead takes inspiration from the breadth of the armed forces and services. Referencing aviation, working and hunting themes, the new approach to military is practical and functional, yet it exudes a sophisticated air of authority, commanding of respect. Structured military jackets, cargo pants and denims pair perfectly with casual tailoring, crisp shirts and tough leather boots and accessories.

military inspired street wear
From G-Star RAW F/W ’13

Biker.

Motorbikes, rock’n’roll, skin-tight leather and denim; cool biker style is synonymous with denim brands and continues to dominate denim collections because… well, what’s not to like? Tigha’s spring / summer 2013 mens and womenswear collections give us a taste of things to come, featuring waxed coatings and shiny finishes on jeans and presenting leather jackets adorned with everything from ornate embellishment, zippers, leather quilting, panelling, pockets, studs and fringing. For 2013, biker style requires close attention to details.

biker inspired street wear
From Tigha S/S ’13

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