DB Berdan’s Autumn Winter 2019 collection was one of the most successful of last seasons catwalk. It perfectly blended the brands message towards gender, whilst delivering a fashion forward meets urban aesthetic. Heads across the industry turned towards the label, with celebrities, musicians and journalists all wanting a piece of the brand. Earlier this year they launched an extremely successful pop-up store in Camden, and gained a collaboration with ASOS that helped to project them into the spotlight of consumers across the globe.
With so much happening for Beg and Deniz Berdan during such a short period, it added a heap of expectation onto this seasons collection. This time they stepped away from the catwalk and into confines of the LFW discovery space to show as a presentation and finally made it onto the BFC Schedule. The collection entitled “Self-Love Club” took inspiration from male dominated sports clubs and in the brands aesthetic, turned it into a world of gender inclusivity. “Racing for equality” quickly became the slogan that the collection came to represent.
When I spoke to the designers, I asked if the felt any extra pressure this time around,
“This is now our 18th season, it’s great to see the brand continue to grow but we don’t really feel any extra pressure. We’re just trying to bring our clothes to as many people as we can and hopefully get our message out there.”
The brands message was synonymous from last season. They’ve found their voice fighting for the eradication of heteronormativity in everyday society and they’ve further delved down this route. Subtly addressing gender neutrality throughout, DB Berdan are a breath of fresh air in their pursuit for change.
I described their AW19 collection as being “Unrepentant. In your face. Aggressive.” The aid of the runway certainly helped with that, but in the form of a presentation, it was hard to get that same energy. Although high energy performances from both Girli and Ashnikko certainly helped the energy of the room. This collection saw the brand really improve on the designs and it feels like they have found their core aesthetic at this point.
The inspiration drawn from sports clubs certainly reflected in the garments. Jumpsuits and hockey headpieces appeared everywhere. This time polyester dominated many of the looks although Denim still featured in drabs. The urban underbelly of the brand shone through in the graffiti style free hand drawings, something that the designers paid homage to.
“The technique is something we’ve been working on for a while, we’re getting better at it. It’s gives us another layer of creative freedom.”
Quotes such as “Invisible battles” and “save the planet” gave the designs a political edge.
This collection was a collaboration with ‘Smiley’ which was an interesting coming together. Both share the same inclusive and positive message, so it made sense. The Smiley brand I closely link to the acid house movement of the late 1980s, something that the designers integrated seamlessly into their presentation.
“Where I came from growing up, I was really into punk music, I loved the energy and the nights out. When I came to England, I found the rave movement, it gave me the same feeling as Punk did and I fell in love.”
Clear inspiration comes in the shape of acid tinged clothing with vibrant Yellows and Blues taking feature throughout.
DB Berdan once again worked with stylist, Kay Altamira. A key mind behind several smaller details in the last few collections, this time was no different.
“I spent the last three days barely sleeping, painting shoes, making jewelry and fans. It was so worth it seeing the final product.”
Kay’s input shows the power of long-term collaborators, who understand the brand almost as if it was their own.
DB Berdan have since taken their collection to their Turkish homeland for Istanbul Fashion Week, where it was received with the same warmth and adoration as here.
“When we came here, we found our family, we found our message. We haven’t really looked back since.”
I think the open mindedness of London will always be the place where DB Berdan flourishes the most.
It will be interesting to see where the brand goes next season. In some ways this season saw the aesthetic flip on its head. After last season I didn’t think their next step would be a whole-hearted leap into sportswear but everything about it was great. I hope to see the brand follow on with the free hand graffiti aesthetic, further refined, I think it’ll be a tool that continues to separate them from their competitors. As sincere as their message is, the final product is always so fun and this time, incredibly polished. Bring on 2020.