Kitschy Couture Berlin Spring 2025 Collection


The storytelling was on point in Abarna Kugathasan’s second show for her label Kitschy Couture. Last February, she showed off her extravagant pieces (mainly dresses at the time) in a magnificent Tamil wedding ceremony in which the bride married herself. “Now this season is a honeymoon collection—after marrying herself, the bride is going on a honeymoon getaway to this artificial paradise.” Quite literal, the show that was imaginatively staged in Stadtbad Neukölln, a public pool, started with a scantily clad “bride” being sent on a journey by two male models, meaning she floated around on a giant inflatable swan.

Artificial Paradise was an apt name for the collection, via which the designer once again addressed her family background and the fusion of two very different cultures. Kugathasan is the daughter of Tamil immigrants who moved to Germany from Sri Lanka in the mid-1990s. She grew up in a “very conservative Tamil household, but with a very western and very German surrounding,” as she says. When she started her label, she went back to her parents’ home to do some picture research. “When you look at pictures of how they lived in the ’90s, you would see a really typical German living room, but the next second, you would notice things like plastic lotus flowers in the cabinets and plastic banana trees everywhere. It’s almost like you are curing your homesickness by artificially recreating your former home. I was born into this in between world and that’’s exactly what Kitschy Couture is about,” Kugathasan said after the show.

In keeping with the vacation theme, the collection featured swimwear in the form of adjustable maillots and bikinis with large rose petals as decoration. There were also lace babydoll dresses, embroidered satin sarong pants, ruffled pajamas, a turquoise wrap skirt with a train, and lots of playful lingerie-style pieces. For one look, vintage bras were even reworked into an asymmetrical top with suspenders. Kugathasan generally works with deadstock fabrics and was also supported with fabrics by British designer Simone Rocha, who is Kugathasan’s mentor via Mentoring Matters, a global mentoring scheme for candidates from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic backgrounds.

The mixed gender models, who walked around the pool, were also adorned with dolphin or rose shaped rhinestone body tattoos and ocean-themed plastic earpieces, and carried dolphin shaped bags with airbrush prints. Is this for everyone, every day? No. But is this creative and special, a welcome maximalist change to the many dark and club-suitable collections in Berlin, and completely coherent in itself? Hell yes.

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Tags: Berlin Spring 2025, Kitschy Couture, runway, runway_review

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