I must confess that the announcement of Berlin Fashion Week didn’t really interest me. Too much has happened in the past year, and there is still too much to come. A historic change of times begins tomorrow in the USA. In Germany, the government is discussing an extension and tightening of the lockdown. Artists and creatives groan under the burden Covid-19 puts on us all. Many are desperate, scared, discouraged, disaffected. But not so Anja Gockel.
In the past few years, the exceptional designer presented her feminine collections in the city’s top address, the Adlon Kempinski Berlin. The beautiful foyer was always crowded with people. Everyone wanted to see the most personal show of Fashion Week.
Of course, fashion always played an important role. But more important were the messages that Anja Gockel sent out into the world with her designs. Because for Anja Gockel, fashion is not just a beautiful surface, but a strong statement.
ANJA GOCKEL CELEBRATES THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY
For 25 years, the designer has not only created beautiful and very feminine collections. The mother of four kids is also an absolute powerful woman and activist. Gockel is passionately committed to women’s rights.
When she founded her brand, she made a strong statement by declaring that she designs her collections for real women, for real personalities. This statement was aimed at the beauty craze of the time then. It led young girls in particular to anorexia.
In contrast, curves and, above all, a healthy body and mind were a sign of true beauty for Anja Gockel from the beginning. It is an important point to this day.
Because girls and young women are still influenced by the world of media and the internet. Instead of recognizing and enjoying their true, individual beauty, they strive for ideals, which often mean that they are putting their health and personality at risk for doing so.
Knowing that their role models don’t actually look like they do on the glossy covers of the magazines.
A power-woman like Anja Gockel, who has achieved and moved so much, can of course not be stopped by an insidious virus. A fashion show in front of a cheering crowd is different from a show in an empty house. However, a show in an empty house is still better than no show at all.
Anja Gockel has just shown her new autumn/winter collection 2021/22 again at one of the most traditional and wonderful places in Berlin, the Adlon Hotel.
ANJA GOCKEL INVITED TO THE EMBRACELAND
After almost a year, it was definitely time for Anja Gockel to be close. So she presented her show and collection under the title “EMBRACELAND”.
Anja Gockel’s new “EMBRACELAND” collection embodies generosity. It leaves room for appreciation of the special. The outfits range between a figure-hugging silhouette and generous volume.
Apparent opposites are combined, from distinctive checked patterns to feminine pinstripe couture. Moreover, petrol-colored, lascivious lacquer fabrics meet high-quality cashmere from the label “Edelziege”.
Anja Gockel finds the balance of extremes in every outfit and focuses on all facets of femininity. Each material gets the freedom it needs to playfully engage with its counterpart. The fabrics melt together and create a room in their diversity – this room is “EMBRACELAND”.
THE ANJA GOCKEL SHOW
Anja Gockel has always relied on various artistic accents, also when it comes to her shows. The catwalks were often supported by dance and music performances.
Without any audience, this time, there was space for a very special kind of creative storytelling. Some of Berlin’s best dancers, including those from Friedrichstadt Palast, presented the EMBRACELAND Collection as part of a 30-minute dance performance that. Besides, it was even complemented with a few acrobatic elements.
The show was supported by a live piano play. Initially appropriate to the current situation, thoughtful and melancholy. Later, with Bedřich Smetana’s Vltava theme, lively, energetic, and hopeful.
Trust yourself. Embrace your opposite. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is the same, Anything is possible. Unity means diversity.
“With our show, we are setting an example for mutual respect, a symbol for culture, a symbol for the acceptance of diversity. Embrace life, the moment, yourself and your opposite! Approach the other person with open arms, even without touching a gesture that the whole world can understand. A gesture of respect and awareness.”
THE DANCERS & ARTISTS
The dancers not only presented a wonderful performance. Moreover, they also demonstrated the absolute portability of the EMBRACELAND Collection for all occasions. One of the artists was the wonderful Debora Goulart. You can find out more about the exceptional talent on our website in the V-GUIDE area.
There were also Georgeta Varvarici, Katharina Diedrich, Annick Schadeck, Azama, and Azza Bashir, Isa Stanculescu, Keeva Treanor, Martin Buczko, Sofiane Tiet, John Förster, and Lia Kemendi.
The Fashion Week show was musically supported by Julie Tönnis & Rainer Brenner from “The Velvet Catsuit”. Besides, it was choreographed by Lia Kemendi and Maxime Quiroga.
ACT NOW TO KEEP CREATIVITY ALIVE
Already at her invitation, Anja Gockel called out: “Act now to keep creativity alive”. With her show, she set an example for this and also showed that we can always find new ways. What does it help to complain that one thing or the other is currently not possible.
Looking ahead together, giving each other strength and hope, and believing that things will turn out for the better, was one of the messages of today’s Anja Gockel Show.
Although VALEUR and my work have been significantly influenced by Fashion Week over the past 12 years, and the event was even the basis for many wonderful projects and partnerships, this time I had no reference to the event in advance. As I watched, however, I found that I was very moved. I felt one or two tears wet my cheeks and at the end, a smile spread across my lips.
A wise German saying goes: “If you think nothing works anymore, a little light comes from somewhere”. Means: The Show must and will go on.
Thank you, Anja Gockel, for keeping art alive during these times. Thank you for always bringing up so much energy and creativity despite all the adversities to embellish the world with energetic and lively collections that carry a very special message.
Text: Marco Kokkot
Pictures: © Anja Gockel