Berlin Wall graffiti returns as leather fashion

Tue Jun 9, 2009 11:54am EDT
 
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By Jacob Comenetz

BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Daniel Rodan, Berlin's leather fashion designer to the stars, unveiled a new collection of Berlin Wall art-themed clothing on Tuesday as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the Cold War barrier.

The leather dresses and menswear feature art from the East Side Gallery, the 1,300 meter-long (4,265 feet) stretch of the Wall painted by 118 artists from 21 countries in 1990. Its graffiti art quickly came to symbolize the Wall itself.

One revealing mini-dress shows a famous image of the "Trabi," the classic East German automobile, breaking through the concrete landmark that divided Berlin during the Cold War.

Rodan, whose clients include television and singing star David Hasselhoff and singer Tina Turner, said tackling a political subject was something new.

"Bringing together these three things: the political event, fashion design, and the art of the East Side Gallery, and then making sure the clothes fit on the celebrities -- it was a real challenge," Rodan told a news conference.

The leather outfits will be worn by prominent musicians and athletes at events during the coming months, then auctioned off for charity after the 20th anniversary celebrations on November 9.

"It's great that we can now have fun with things which previously were simply a catastrophe," said the Berlin cabaret artist Chin Meyer at the presentation. "We have to be artistically creative with things we find painful."

Other new designs presented by Rodan included barbed wire made of leather as a sexy fashion accessory.

Berlin's year-long celebration of the fall of the Wall in 1989 will culminate with a 'Festival of Freedom' at the Brandenburg Gate and the toppling of 1,000 giant dominoes.

(Editing by Paul Casciato)

 
<p>Models wear leather dress by German designer Daniel Rodan during a promotion for the 'Mauerkleider - East Side Gallery goes Fashion' in Berlin, June 9, 2009. Berlin leather fashion designer to the stars Rodan unveiled a new collection of Berlin Wall art-themed clothing on Tuesday as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of the fall of the wall. The leather dresses and frocks feature iconic wall art from the East Side Gallery, the 1,300 metre-long stretch of the Wall painted by 118 artists from 21 countries in 1990, and whose designs quickly came to symbolize the Wall itself. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz</p>