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Show & Award

Anticipation was high as the nominees for the very first NEO.FASHION. BEST GRADUATES award show geared up to showcase their designs for this momentous moment in German fashion history.

13 up-and-coming designers were hand-picked from 13 universities and each showed five looks at Kraftwerk Berlin, in front of a top-class jury, put together under the direction of the Fashion Council Germany (FCG). The awards up for grabs consisted of Best Design, Best Sustainability Concept and Best Craftmanship, where the winners will receive individual mentoring packages from the jury and the Neo.Fashion. Network. 

The show was an unbridled celebration of brilliant, innovative and daring new designers—and a welcomed energy-boost—ranging from otherworldly, apocalyptic creations, to super-oversized knitwear, gravity-defying tailoring, big-shoulder energy, gorgeous silky fabrics, luxe leathers, decadent fringes, and every possible colour under the sun. It was fashion with an important message, pushing the envelope for sustainable practices and out-of-the-box thinking. But foremost, it illustrated that the future of German fashion design looks very bright. 


Best Design

Flora Taubner // VALUE // Burg Giebichenstein University of the Arts Halle

Taubner explained the thoughts behind her winning VALUE contribution: “The starting point for each model was a contrasting pair of factors that make a garment supposedly valuable or worthless, with the aim to shake up entrenched values in order to loosen up and rearrange themselves.” The result was five provocatively deconstructed pieces challenging preconceived notions of fashion, such as the ‘correct’ placement of a collar and the need for two sleeves.

Best Sustainability Concept 

Paul Kadjo // The Spirit Between Bodies And Objects // AMD Academy Fashion & Design

Born in Germany, raised in the Ivory Coast, the young fashion designer and activist Paul Kadjo united his two nations in his ethical collection The Spirit Between Bodies And Objects, showcasing a predominantly black, white and brown palette with an exciting mix of fabrics and structures adorned with fringes. “The design-language reflects an intercultural connection – a dreamlike relationship between black and white. The first collection defines the spirit between body and object, which burns to ensure the survival of its existence through the survival of fashion,” he stated.

Best Craftmanship

Aylin Tomta // Hylemorph // University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld

For her Hylemorph collection, Tomta achieved mesmerizing, three-dimensional creations through what appeared to be the intricate layering of paper-thin fabric. “We always have to question and re-locate our own selves. Although the cultural transformations and social constructs of our society claim otherwise, identities cannot necessarily be aligned with current binary schemes. Hylemorph creates fluid moments and makes them visible,” she explained.

This year’s jury:

– Tanja Mühlhans, Consultant for Creative Industries, Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Operations.

– Antje Hundhausen, Vice President Brand Experience, Deutsche Telekom

– Kerstin Schneider, Editor in Chief, Harper’s Bazaar

– Claudia Hofmann, Member of the Board Fashion Council Germany, Creative Consultant & Stylist

– Sebastian Warschow, Chief Communication Officer, Haebmau Agency

– Esther Perbandt, founder of the label esther perbandt

– William Fan, founder of the label WILLIAM FAN

The full list of nominees for the “Best Graduates’ Show & Award”

1.) Flora Taubner // VALUE // Burg Giebichenstein University of the Arts Halle

2.) Caro Becker // Only Stones Live Longer // Bremen University of the Arts

3.) Clelia Schäfer // Enter the Void – surreal, so real? // Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences

4.) Tony Eisold // Encore // Berlin University of Applied Sciences

5.) Felicitas Volk // …it’s your world for a moment & City Landscape // Lette Association Berlin

6.) Dennis Sanders // Open Borders // Hanover University of Applied Sciences and Arts

7.) Sirima Ehmke // on the mend // University of Applied Sciences Hamburg

8.) Laura Petzke // ELEMENTS // Mediadesign University of Applied Sciences

9.) Eva Viola Emmermann // Sorry // University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein

10.) Paul Kadjo // The Spirit Between Bodies And Objects // AMD Academy Fashion & Design

11.) Aylin Tomta // Hylemorph // University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld

12.) Sophia Mazenauer // Generation Chance // State Fashion School Stuttgart

13.) Damian Ohl // Bondo // Weißensee Academy of Art Berlin

Words by CC Borjeson