Sia Arnika’s spring 2024 collection was so coherent, not despite, but because it was so full of contrasts. “I always say that I have this dichotomy in me; two things that I try to merge,” she said after her show, the second she has staged in Berlin. “I guess that’s where I feel I am as a designer and as a person: between being more grown up, and still with a very playful take on fashion.”
These contrasts were shown in minimalist tube tops, sheath dresses and mini skirts with flowy trains or harmonica-like skirt hems attached to them. Or in the use of super soft and lightweight, almost technical materials, which were then laser cut in a way that was inspired by an old-school Danish lace pattern, but blown up so much it looked like little moth holes. Bouncy fringe details were made of patent material so that they looked cool instead of romantic; elegant evening dresses were broken up with soft voluminous hood draping or stiff padded techno materials.
Arnika’s muse for the collection also combined different poles. Danish actress Asta Nielsen, born in 1881, became successful in Berlin during the silent film era (a parallel to the Danish Arnika, who has lived in Berlin for 12 years) and played roles as diverse as an androgynous Hamlet to a seductress in “Abyss.” The spirit of this fierce woman was perfectly conveyed in the show production. The models, whose accurate hair styling was reminiscent of Nielsen’s pageboy ’do, strode resolutely down the three open and spiraling floors of a former glass façade nightclub in their pointy wide leg boots with double kitten heels, a collaboration with Chinese/British footwear brand Untitlab. An electronic music set forcefully playing in the background. Berlin, but make it polished. “I really feel like I have arrived at the point where I want to be and want to continue, with me and with the collection,” said Arnika. You could feel it.