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Berlin Debuts Hot Summer Styless

Wicked weather didn't dampen the drama out on the runways at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin last week in the bi-annual four-day showing in the shadow of the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

From hot and humid to pouring rain, the weather gods gave Berlin everything they had during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin in early July. That didn't stop celebrities and fashionistas from stepping out into the limelight, however, as was apparent by the packed front row at shows by eclectic European designers like Lena Hoschek and Kaviar Gauche.

Still a relative newcomer to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week family, the German capital seems to have finally gotten comfortable with its role as a trendsetter for the ready-to-wear crowd. Shrugging off its reputation as the capital of weird, Berlin incorporated more homegrown talent into its shows this go-round, and the result was a newfound maturity in the designs out on display.

Spring/Summer 2013 features a toned-down pastel palette. Black remains in play, though this time the collections tended more toward the fundamental, like stylishly accented womens' trouser suits. Gone were the attention-grabbing transparent wedding gowns and hyper-neon textures of previous shows.

That doesn't mean the shows weren't worthy of a lively discussion. Not one to shy from publicity, local designer Michalsky, whose StyleNite event is sponsored by DHL, got people talking not because of his design choices, but because of his choice of models; the highlight event featured a heavily pregnant woman adorned in bikini – another envelope-pusher after last season's use of a transgender model.

And while tongues will wag, the simple, straight lines preferred now by designers means the clothing of the future will not.