The Berlin Music Video Awards 2022

Following two online editions, we were finally able to attend the Berlin Music Video Awards (BMVAs) in person at Club Gretchen from the 8-11th of June. Established in 2013, the festival pays homage to the filmmakers and art behind music videos. Nominees this year included the likes of FKA Twigs, Years and YearsLil Nas X, Elton John and Grimes. Although these names might suggest otherwise, the BMVAs ceremony is not just about the big fish in the music world – it’s an ode to Berlin’s fizzing fashion scene and underground subcultures. The event also aims to bridge the gap between well-established and up-and-coming talent, offering a space for creatives to network and mingle. 

From DJ sets to filmmaking workshops, the 10th edition of the BMVAs was jam-packed with action. As expected, it was the fashion show that we were most excited about, and we were certainly not disappointed! Designers in the show included: Charlie MintsonMarco WardFlavia Giulia TomassiL.O.MJacqueline Pingarrón and Leonidas Kanavetsados. The clothing exhibited was artistic, audacious, and above all, conceptual. Unlike other fashion shows at big events, the calibre of creation was the focal point rather than conformity. At the BMVAs, you don’t find lacklustre designers with a herd of Tik-Tok stars trotting behind them. Instead, you find independent artists who are not afraid to rock the boat. And that is what we are all about at Œ Magazine!

Albeit such impressive fashion talent on display at this year’s MBVAs, two designers were clear favourites for us: Leonidas Kanavetsados and Marco Ward. Fortunately, we had the chance to chat with them after their catwalk shows to uncover more about their collections, inspirations and prospects.

Leonidas Kanavetsados
Fearless Soul

Œ: Could you briefly introduce yourself and your journey into fashion? 

Leonidas: My name is Leonidas and I come from Greece. I left there at an early age to study Fashion Development in London. After that, I moved to Rome to study Theatrical Costume Design and then to the Netherlands to study Experimental Fashion and Installation Art. Although I’m based in Madrid, I work internationally and I’m often in Berlin for work. I think to be a good designer, you need to be curious about other places, techniques and cultures – to understand how other people are in different parts of the world… For one project I’m in France, then Germany, wherever the creative people are, I’m there!

Œ: What brings you to the BMVAs?

Leonidas: I thought the BMVAs was the perfect chance to debut my collection. The past two years of covid and the isolation were both very intense so there was a lot of accumulated creativity. With all this energy, I wanted to dedicate this collection to the values related to anti-conformity – how to express yourself and freedom without fear. And how we get there – this journey from darkness to light. The story of the soul.

Œ: What were your greatest inspirations during the development process? 

Leonidas: For this collection, I did a lot of research into the anatomy of the human body – you can see that some of the costumes have shapes like bones. I was also very influenced by Japanese culture when creating the patterns tailoring-wise. So my designs were led by these two influences and of course, the values I want to express. My name of the collection is also my main motivation – to achieve a “fearless soul”.

Œ: What does “fearless soul” mean to you? 

Leonidas: We need to have a soul without fear to reach freedom at some point in our lives. It is hard to reach in the society that we live in. But the aim remains to get there eventually. I’m also trying to make the people understand that when you have something different usually other people judge it, you do not have to understand it. You have to accept it and embrace it for what it is.

Œ: What sets this collection apart from your other creations?

Leonidas: I believe it is the most complete of my collections. This time, I tried to cover and dress the whole of the human body. Usually, I’m more focused on headpieces or I dress specifically only one part of the body.

Œ: Which outfit are you most proud of from this collection and why? 

Leonidas: It would be Serratus Anterior – it’s a fan-shaped muscle that is based on the right and left sides of the Thorax. I think I’m proud of that one because it’s the first time I’ve created a costume for a dancer since I have one in my show. It was a challenge for me as the outfit had to remain perfect whilst he does all of this crazy choreography.

Œ: How influential do you feel music is on fashion and vice versa? 

Leonidas: I couldn’t live without music! It helps me stay in a balanced mental health space. I come from an artistic family so I grew up around video and dance, watching movies and video clips. And neither of them can exist without music. Whenever I design, it starts with movement – “How will it look when it moves?” The costume itself for me is a dead thing, it needs a human to breathe life into it. So I usually think about movement and with movement, then arrives music. One cannot live without the other for me.

Œ: What can we expect from you next? 

Leonidas: I would love to dress other artists or celebrities because I get inspired by their personalities. When we have our initial interviews or video calls, I’m always trying to get a sense of what their identity is. After all, identity is what defines every one of my designs. I might work for 3 months on just one person. This collection took me 7 months to complete everything and it’s only 5 outfits because everything is handcrafted and focused on a unique identity. I am also going to start creating some headpieces and a collection for the theatre so those are my plans for now!

Marco Ward
Wonderful Waste

Œ: Briefly introduce yourself and why are you here today?

Marco: My name is Marco Ward, I am from Lebanon and Italy but currently based in Paris. I’m here at the BMVAs to showcase my new collection from my little brand called Minimal Waste.

Œ: What’s the concept behind Minimal Waste? 

Marco: Everything I make is to inspire people – to look at trash differently. When people first see my clothes they like them and then once they get close, they notice and understand what materials the clothing is made from.

So this is the whole point, to change the way they see things. I think that every discarded material has incredible artistic potential and I think this potential is not fully used. To use this potential and discover it, you need the right technique and for that, you just need a little bit of patience and experimentation.

Œ: What three words best describe your brand?

Marco: Ecology, Creativity, Mathematics

Œ: Why mathematics? 

Marco: All of the dresses are created as three-dimensional polyhedrons – the whole point is to not use any fabrics or any sewing machines so there are no patterns. Everything is made up of different geometrical shapes put together to make three-dimensional shapes that directly form in the shape of the dress. This ensures there is no waste afterwards.

Œ: Tell us about this collection, what makes it distinctive from previous collections of yours?

Marco: This collection has been inspired by the molecular structures that carbon can have. Since carbon is very present at the moment, I wanted to analyse its molecular structures when it’s in its pure states. So you have graphene, graphite, diamonds, and carbon in gas form. I tried to analyse the different shapes and make each dress out of one of the states of carbon. So this is where most of the inspiration comes from – molecular biology.

Œ: Which outfit are you most proud of from this collection and why?

Marco: The one I’m most proud of isn’t the most successful. Everyone likes the mermaid dress because it’s very recognisable as a shape. But I prefer the one made with coca-cola cans – the pants and jacket look that resembles a Samurai – it’s my favourite because when you look closer it’s made using a mix of materials. Oh, and the red makes the black pop!

Œ: How influential do you feel music is on fashion and vice versa?

Marco: I think it is very important to choose the right music for a fashion show, which is why it was very hard to select music that went well with my collection. So for this fashion show, I decided to ask my brother; who makes music, to make something inspired by my collection. He designed the music, and my sister is making the videos. Oh, and my other sister is one of the models – it’s basically a family business *laughs*

Œ: What can we expect from you next?

Marco: For now, I’m just going to try and do music clips with different contacts I managed to make at the BMVAs. I’m also going to try to move this technique to things other than fashion – try to make some sculptures, upholstery, and 3D paintings. If I am going to fashion again – which I will – it is always going to be for shows, movie clips, or concerts. Because I think there’s no point to make more clothes, there are already too many on this planet! If I did create more clothes it’s to sell dreams not clothing. 

All photos were taken by Peter E. Reiche