As much as there is a Berlin techno sound, there is a Berlin techno look: clothing is cut comfortably but cleverly, lines are clean, colors muted and minimal. It’s not flashy or fraught–it’s fashion designed to take you from a luxury hotel to the apocalypse in style. And perhaps no one sports this look better than Ellen Allien, DJ/producer, Bpitch Control label head, and, in the last few years, fashion designer.
Allien’s current collections aren’t fanciful affairs. SOOL is a t-shirt series that borrows its graphic (a galaxy-like maelstrom of different-sized dots, designed by Pfadfinderei) and title from her recent album of the same name. We’re still not sure if SOOL stands for “Shit Out of Luck” or “Simple Object Oriented Language” (we’re guessing the latter), but we could definitely use a gunmetal-grey SOOL tote bag to carry our club scarf collection around in.
While SOOL price points fall around 30 Euros, Allien’s high-end line, PLUS, matches incomes of more Hawtin-like proportions. T-shirts and mini-dresses printed on thin jersey cotton go from somber (the Kreis shirt with its simple black line on grey) to playful–like the genre’s newest statement tee, “I’m Techno and You’re Not.” Most of the line features organic shapes frolicking on white cotton–some simple triangles and circles, others suggesting Miró paintings or fallopian tubes and eggs at play. (Allien says they “represent the human body’s energy flux.”) And yes, these are the sort of clothes that look better on organically fed and party-emaciated bodies, but if you like your fashion like you like your techno–minimal and striking–then pony up.
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