“Investing in craft is to invest in tangible creation; the boundary between creator and consumer can dissolve into a shared reality”
You have to give SF1OG some props for shaking up the textile presentation formula. Instead of showing the new collection on racks in a showroom, Rosa M. Dahl and her team rented out the Fuerle Collection, a decades-old bunker in Berlin dating back to the Second World War. Models in SF1OG’s new fabrications and meshy garb flipped through the dramatic prominence of the cello, repeatedly suggesting stirrings of desire: Truth be told, the resulting stylistic range was all too frequently too wide to suggest coherence or unity, though such disruption made sense here. Maybe it was the slightly grunge vibe of the clothes—slashed pants, coarsed leather, holey toppers—so convincing, in fact, that at first you didn’t realise they were palpable. But the girls and guys blended right in. “Investing in craft is to invest in tangible creation; the boundary between creator and consumer can dissolve into a shared reality,” reckon the notes. As cosy as they were easy, garments owned a renewed relevance.
Ditto, a new sense of pragmatism has been trending on the runways for quite some time, but SF1OG had some new ideas about the decade’s key looks. For starters, they introduced a new bare-all gown offering that had a look of crispy, ultra-stiff raw knitwear, but was actually soft and lightweight. Why go through the painful process of poised, new material when you can ease dysfunction? (True groupies will say it’s a touch of pride, but ouch!) The black-tinged piping will be a huge hit, and the cute hem-stitched shirt dress will be hard to find elsewhere. “For the UNTITLED collection, I was inspired by the sense of intuition and craftsmanship, growing up with my father in his atelier while watching him attain plenty of creative projects,” opins Dahl, who created sculpture built from materials remnants and found objects, breathing new life into each hand-built work. (She’s fond of wood-carving, a characteristic that’s ever ubiquitous in her finely-sculpted volumes).
Knitwear is as timeless as it gets, but SF1OG is doing its part to keep novelty textures alive, too. “In a world of disconnection and artificial realities, this collection implores us to peep closer and absorb all manner of physicality, feeling and acknowledging our power in the human capability of creation to lead us into a more ethical future,” she explains, with a heartfelt willingness to be both fearless and vulnerable in her design practice. This season’s take on the pieced-together leather had multiple seams going up the front and the back of the legs, precise hems, and crossover belts. It was all part of an aesthetic shift away from SF1OG’s quintessential image (and a bit of a lingering Berliner vibe for the taking) towards a new, perchance fresher look. Why shouldn’t guys order the silver-toned jewellery, or vice versa for girls? Back on the clothes, Dahl translated her thinking into crisper offerings from the previous outing, plunging into a loose mix of “masculine” and “feminine” contrasts: shredded gowns with raw trim and clean-cut outerwear teamed with neutral-toned flairs.
Dahl’s dual obsession, shape and construction, put her label firmly on the upward map of German fashion. But is there anything to set the brand apart and above other designers operating to fall under the radar of international editors and retailers, at a time where saturation is increasingly commonplace? If anything, it’s her sense of volume. Her sculptural garments recall an armour, acting like a shelter against the troubles of our times—if not for the world at large, at list for her.