Berlin-based designer Marcel Ostertag channeled the hedonistic excess of the 70s and 80s with his new collection, inspired by the word “opium” and its opulent trappings. We chatted with Ostertag about his career in design, creative inspiration and the meaning behind his latest offerings.
How did you originally get into design?
My god, it’s a long story. I was a little boy; I was drawing, I was knitting. I had a short ballet career and then my knee broke, and I went back to fashion. I studied classical fashion design, womenswear and menswear, at Central Saint Martin’s college in London, and I worked for numerous brands during this time—Burberry, Dunhill, Portsmouth. After this, I decided to start my own label. I was always inspired by fashion because my mother was a fashion icon in the 80s; she was always wearing fancy dresses and high heels. And my great-grandmother was an haute couture tailor, so I think it comes from her.
What would you consider your biggest creative inspirations?
I think it’s life. It’s people, it’s nature, it’s music, it’s art, it’s movies. It’s everything that surrounds you. It’s really important to walk through life with open eyes.
What inspired you to choose the word “opium” as inspiration for your new collection?
It’s the addiction to fashion that I wanted to translate—feeling the opulent fabrics, touching the fabrics, slipping into the garments. It’s a lifestyle that I really adore from the late 70s. It’s an homage to Yves Saint Laurent; he was always throwing huge parties and huge events with really cool people. This whole lifestyle inspired me and made this collection complete.
What kind of person do you envision wearing the collection?
That’s a question I’m asked often. My youngest client is 14, and my oldest client is 88. [My clientele] are girls and women who are strong, and quite eccentric. They don’t want what everybody else has. They like quality and good fabrics and they like to feel good in clothes.