Made in Germany - Marcel Ostertag NYFW F/W 18
I wrote this piece for Fashion Week Online and you can read the original post here.
German based fashion brand named for the designer himself, Marcel Ostertag, has returned for his fifth season as part of New York Fashion Week (NYFW) to unveil Autumn/Winter 2018. The collection, named ‘Opium’, walked the Spring Studios Runway (Gallery II) on Wednesday, February 14th, 2018.
Q: Tell me about the collection? What’s it about?
First, I’m happy to be back, it’s my fifth season at NYFW. The new collection is called Opium. It’s about being addicted to fashion, being addicted to touching fabrics, to feeling the fabrics. I have been researching a long time to find the perfect fabrics and this season, the fabrics speak for themselves. This collection is also an homage to late 70’s and to Yves Saint Laurent, always throwing those really excited great lifestyle parties with great people so that was also an inspiration. It just works because colors sometimes fight with each other, but if you see it on the complete look, it just looks stunning.
The mix between those little elements with the glamour disco outgoing party dresses is a cool combination and it’s my third season working with Tamaris collection, and the boots the girls wear, they go all the way up and they are fantastic, from quality to the color to the leather and it fits perfectly into the collection.
Shoes don’t work without fashion and fashion doesn’t work without shoes!
The soundtrack is made by my little brother, he’s a DJ, he’s the musician in the family, so that’s touching. The most important thing is that I found fifteen beautiful girls who all have personalities, so every girl has her own story and its important when a girl comes in for casting that they shine and they tell me something about their lives.
I have one girl, she’s from Rwanda, another from Paris, and another great Asian girl, and one of my favorite girls, she’s the first face, she’s opening. I met her last season for the first time. She’s a beautiful girl with a lot of hair and a really strong face and she impressed me so much that I wrote her this year before coming to New York via Instagram begging “please come to my casting, I want to book you again” – and she came and now she’s opening!
Q: You’ve always been very conscious of sustainable manufacturing – tell me about that and why it’s so important to you.
This sustainable project and theme I have done since my first season in 2006, when I launched my label, that was the start of my brand. I said ok, I want to know all of my tailors, I want to do it all in Germany, so everything is tailoring in Germany and that is where all my cashmere products are knitted and that’s something we do; it’s like a family. People get paid well, they have a salary and you feel it in the clothes and in the quality. The most important topic for sustainability is that the pieces are timeless, so you can wear them again and again. If you have a trendy jumper with something fun on it, you will wear it and then throw it away but if you create something that is timeless, you can open your closet, and you can wear it year after year.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out as a designer, what would it be?
That’s difficult because fashion is a tough business if you want to launch your own brand and be your own designers and your own boss. You have to elbow your way through because it’s tough and you have to produce good content, have a good story about the product, and it has to be a product that is wearable. It doesn’t matter if you do the best outstanding theater or stage clothes – its cool, but no one can wear it. Lastly, you have to stick to yourself, never change yourself because of someone else – always be yourself.
Q: Why do you create?
I couldn’t live without creating! Every since I was a little boy, I was sewing, knitting, or drawing, then went on to belly dancing, and the thing is, it’s my drive. I have to be doing something, during holidays I can’t just lay by a pool!
Q: Being from Germany, do you get most of your inspiration from there?
I get my inspiration from life! It’s important to walk through life with open eyes and it could be a book I’m reading, or a person that surround me, or nature, or music, it’s just about going through life with open eyes and seeing whatever catches my eye.