HAPPENINGText: Daniel Goddemeyer

Going off with a blast was the first "HOTEL" fashion show held in the famous Cafe Seeterassen located in the Planten und Bloomen park right in the center of Hamburg. Founded in April 2000 by the two designers Ingken Benesch and Kai Dünhölter, this was their first official release show celebrating the new summer 2001 collection as well as the launch of their website made by Silke Krieg.

At about 500 people found their way on this Wednesday night to this illustrious location. Being mostly from the new media, fashion and clubbing scene as well as from fashion stores around Germany, there gathered quite a lively crowd to watch the models walking down the catwalk. When Victor Marek – a well known dj from the hamburg Pudel Club – started cranking up the volume in the main room the first half of the show began. All dressed in leather and fur the designers taste for elegant fashion playing with the clichees of art and culture become obvious in an instant. Luxury trash battling against fashion-design.

Driven by the passion for high quality in fashion-design, both of the founders wanted to create a platform which enabled them to express their definition of fashion as well as establish a unique style in their creations. Their goal was to bring a woman´s inner emotions to the surface with the means of fashion. Having in mind a hotel room (as the name implies) that enables you to relax and chill out for a while, their collection should give women the possibility to check into another level of their personalities and so tear down every days restrictions.

After a short break the second collection was ready to go off. Being backed up by an original American football team, this wave of the “HOTEL” collection was inspired by the dream of living out in the country. At first glance reminding you of the Sarah-Kay look and “Our little farm”, you soon noticed a somehow quite bitchy atmosphere surrounding the models and their clothing. This coming from the designers goal to break up this “simple-life-harmony” by bringing in some elements of the rather brutal force of American football. With violent agression the idyll of living out in the countryside is destroyed by the manliness of this typical American sport. Being inspired by the tension between sports ware and romanticism, this collection rather takes a ironic look at the American dream.

After approximately one hour the show was over leaving the crowd behind in a somewhat confused state of mind but mostly fascinated and inspired. At first having in mind the incompatible elements of luxury and elegance on the one hand and American football and manhood on the other, everybody was to be proven wrong by the two talented designers. Combining these elements can be done, and more than that, these contrasts that were played with on that night, created probably one of the most stylish and acknowledged events in fashion there have ever been in Hamburg.

Ingken Benesch and Kai Dünhölter “Hotel”
Place: Cafe Seeterassen
Address: St.Petersburger Str. 22, 20355 Hamburg

Text: Daniel Goddemeyer
Photos: Daniel Goddemeyer

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