Berlin. Riders of the Berlin subway have been taking trips this week that go far beyond the hip German capital’s already outlandish standards, as models in latex wear, fetish gear and “spirit hoods” staged a fashion show on a train.
Girls wearing all-leather sado-masochist bodysuits tottered through the train car, followed by male models wearing nothing but ornamental metallic sculptures around their groin. Models in neon tulle dangled from the subway poles.
Around 600 people showed up for “Underground Catwalk”, a ticketed show during Berlin Fashion Week that took place entirely on a train running underneath the city.
“Because of the special location, models pretty much walk across people’s laps. There’s loud music blasting, it’s pretty wild and colorful,” event director Alexander van Hessen told Reuters.
Micaela Schaefer, a German reality TV star known for her self-professed ‘fabric allergy’ and near-nude appearances, made tabloid headlines by performing in the show as a burlesque Marilyn Monroe in a costume made entirely of artificial blonde hair.
But “Underground Catwalk” is also a forum for young Berlin designers to show more classic couture fare without paying the price for a fashion tent show, said van Hessen.
Berlin’s fashion week, which ends this the weekend, is no showcase for haute couture on the scale of Paris or Milan.
Though a strong host of young local designers have significantly raised Berlin’s fashion profile in recent years, the culture of the fashion week remains alternative and less focused on exclusive designer goods.
“We are the alternative to Berlin Fashion Week,” said von Hessen. “You wouldn’t drink champagne here, but beer or whisky.”