Berlin’s Punk Past and Punk Present

For Berlin-based label 032c, Fall Winter 2020 was a moment in which they looked back at the city’s past, and particularly at that which was the punk scene of the 80’s. In doing so, they teamed up with collective Die Tödliche Doris who had some major responsibility in making the Berlin art and music scene of the 80’s what it was, as an anti-institution, anti-norm, anti-hierarchy experimental group. “At times Doris took form as a band, with a rotating membership and an anti-discography of untitled records, “invisible” records, and records that require special toy-devices and instructional booklets to play and that, when played, sound terrible. Their performances, often costumed by collaborator Tabea Blumenschein, were variétés-style showcases of impulse and inexpertise: they recruited strangers unfamiliar with their work to interpret it on stage, played instruments they couldn’t play, misused and set fire to equipment, cross-dressed, and recorded and looped sounds while live, all with a DIY fluidity that transcended punk, which they found one-dimensional and normative,” explained 032c. This same kind of DIY, ‘so bad until it’s good, was the energy that influenced 032c’s Fall Winter 2020 collection which was designed by the house’s creative director Maria Koch in collaboration with Die Tödliche Doris’ co-founder Wolfgang Müller. Each piece of clothing features specially curated imagery, lyrics and or leitmotifs from the Die Tödliche Doris 80’s archive which are combined with 032c’s modern designs and materials to paint a picture of Berlin’s punk past and punk present. This was brought out through Sex Toy drawings on T-shirts by artist and clothing designer Tabea Blumenschein (1952 – 2020), as well as a variety of photographs and illustrations’ with a set of different background stories from the collective’s archive. Each piece from 032c’s collection speaks to the sentiment of liberty as an art-form in its own way expressed through punk which is and always has been a major theme through Berlin’s heritage.

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