While the pandemic shifted Berlin’s fashion week online, 032c hit the streets of our hometown for REFERENCE FESTIVAL #2. To complement a visual essay highlighting the magazine’s “20 Years” on REFERENCE’s interactive digital platform – and to bring something to an IRL public – we sent a four-screen LED billboard truck trolling around our favorite corners of the locked-down German capital last Friday. Featuring a rotating collage of archival imagery showcasing both 032c’s ready to wear and highlights from two decades in print, the truck—much like REFERENCE—was a gift to, and celebration of the city’s creative community amid the “parallel reality” we have come to inhabit.
Alongside 032c’s combined digital and physical project, REFERENCE’s virtual platform also streamed new projects and performances featuring familiar 032c friends and collaborators – Berlin label GMBH, rising fashion talent MOWALOLA, and artists ANNE IMHOF and ELIZA DOUGLAS, to name a few. A thoughtful panel line-up unpacked some industry topics: high-fashion IOLO LEWIS EDWARDS considered how fashion social media may now be as important as the commodities themselves, and TIFFANY GODOY encouraged upcoming talent to assert their emotional intelligence when crafting the ultimate fashion statement. But first, to kick it all off, queen of club positivity HONEY DIJON shared some laughs with 032c contributing editor HANS ULRICH OBRIST about their mutually predestined love of research.
As Dijon observed: “Everything is so fast and we are not allowed to really live with things. Things have become so monetized. Critical Engagement has been lost. The reason I love research and I love knowledge is that I am Gemini”, to which Obrist noted, “I am a Gemini too!” Later, the Serpentine curator made a signature call: “We need to protest against forgetting.” Dijon agreed: “Just because we do not see it does not mean it is not there. I think you cannot be a really great creator if you do not have all of the information. I will never know everything, but I am going to try.”
For more about the Reference Festival – and Berlin’s evolving role in global fashion – in our interview with founder MUMI HAIATI.