Sunday, 21 August 2011

Berlin Fashion Week

What to wear when you're there

I was recently invited to Berlin Fashion Week to view the new Spring Summer 2012 shows. I've visited Berlin several times in the past and I also have friends there, so it gave me the perfect excuse to do a little Style Traveller blogging.

The Mercedes Benz pavillion

What to Pack?
Day One
From left to right: Silver friendship bracelets - Links of London Pale blue vest (underneath) - Reiss black vest top - Alexander Wang Pale blue maxi skirt - Topshop Faux snakeskin clutch - vintage shop in Canada. Blue leather notebook - Smythson Blackberry Bold - nationwide Sunglasses - Rayban Turquoise ring - Dorothy Perkins Crystal ring BJorg Pale blue skull bracelet - Elkin

Day Two
From left to right: Black cropped top - H&M Animal print silk skirt - Topshop Wedge shoe - Bertie Sunglasses - Lipstick - Bobby Brown Iphone - Black and rose gold watch - GC Watches Passes for Berlin Fashion Week. Black pony skin laptop case - Knomo

Street Style
Taking photos outside the Berlin Fashion Week pavilion and the shows proved to be quite an eye opener. In previous seasons I have come to expect severe tailoring, deconstructed cutting, minimalism and a sea of black and grey at the Berlin shows. I was pleasantly surprised to find the opposite this time. Ok, ok, so black is and always will be on the agenda at any fashion week, however the shock outsider this season was bold colour, especially neons, reds and oranges (even on the boys). Berliners seem to have injected more fun into their wardrobes this season.

Clashing prints and colours
Boys doing brights
All black
Vivid bursts of colour

Minimal chic
The maxi is still big
Bold colour tailoring

The Wood Wood Show
The Lala Berlin show

Berlin - Shopping

Record shop on kastanienallee
As with all major cities Berlin has several areas which are good for shopping.  Prenslauer Berg and the Weinmeister area are my favourites. It's also worth heading to Mitte to see Tacheles and a visit to the Andreas Murkadis concept store is a must. See below.

Prenzlauer Berg 
Once an up and coming area Prenzlauer Berg is now home to quirky and trendy boutiques, think Notting Hill in London. The cafe culture here is unavoidable, with a gelaterie, patisserie or coffee shop on every corner. The style code? Firstly you need to be in a couple! Wear matching black outfits or breton tops with turned up jeans. A single speed bike/baby in a pram are the accessories du jour depending on how long you've been together. The main streets are Oderberger Strasse for quirky boutiques, vintage and retro shops. Kastanienallee which is just around the corner is another great shopping street filled with old record shops, boutiques and art book stores. See map post.

Kastanienallee 58
10119 Berlin

Arty magazine and coffee table book store

Engelberg Cafe
Oderberger Str 21
10435 Berlin

Home made, organic recipes, cakes, coffee and juices, the perfect place for a pit stop.

Kastanienalle 60
10119 Berlin

A mix of vintage and new, quirky clothes and accessories boutique.

Cafe culture in Prenzlauer Berg
Vintage shops line the streets

Mauersegler Park Kultur
Bernauer Str 63-64
13355 Berlin

At the end of Oderberger Strasse check out Mauersegler which is a gorgeous little outdoor cafe on the edge of the park.

is centrally located and the place you'll find international high street stores such as Zara and H&M. Galleries Lafayette the French department store has a branch here.

Munzstrasse 23
10178 Berlin
A great area to go shopping filled with mid priced boutiques and hip stores like Acne and Sandro, as well as small independent German brands like Poti Poti. Most of the shops are on Rosenthaler Str and Munzstrasse.

The perfect dress in every colour at Andreas Murkadis

Andreas Murkudis
Potsdamer Str 77-87
Haus E
10785 Berlin

The Andreas Murkadis shop is a design lovers dream, it's a beautifully presented lifestyle concept store. Purchase a Celine hand bag at the same time as a tiger print rug for your house. Minimal lofty spaces filled with modern objet d'art. With intriguing ideas like the custom made Dries van Noten dress, you have to fill in an order form choosing the style and fabric before the dress is made or the rail filled with 'the perfect dress' in every colour in the rainbow. It's much more fun than it's initially intimidating facade suggests.

The Dries Van Noten dress order form
Pick a fabric for your personalised Dries dress
Oranienberger Str 54-56
10117 Berlin

Tacheles (which means "straight taking" in Yiddish, is an art centre in the Mitte, a huge 9000 square meter building spanning over several floors. From the outside huge, colorful graffiti-style murals cover the walls, inside there are over 31 artists ateliers and workshops, a nightclub and a cinema. After the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 the building was taken over by artists, it was seen as a symbol for free thinking, a breeding ground for artistic expression. If you're going to Berlin soon it is well worth a visit as Tacheles might not be around for very much longer, the artists are soon to be evicted with plans to turn the building into a commercial property.

After visiting Tacheles wander around the bars, boutiques and cafes which line the streets of Mitte. Its well worth coming here late afternoon, doing a spot of shopping then staying in the area for dinner. See after dark section.

Berlin - After Dark

The view from the top floor at Weekend night club
Eating and Partying
Berlin has a reputation for being one of Europe's biggest party capitals. So much so that Lady Gaga spent her last birthday at Berghain, a popular techno clubs in the city. There are specific areas which are good for going out. Mitte is great for dinner and bars, there are hundreds of restaurants to pick from. Kruezberg is the up and coming area, the equivalent to London's Dalston. Head here if you want to party with the cool kids. There are also lots of clubs with great outdoors spaces dotted around the city. Dinner normally starts at 8pm and partying can go on until the next day!

Restaurants line the streets

Dinner in Mitte
Opposite the road from Tacheles (see shopping) between Tucholsky Strasse and Auguststrasse is junction full of quirky bars and good restaurants.

Linienstrasse 113
10115 Berlin
Established in 1875 this is the oldest bar in Berlin. Line your stomach with a delicious Wienerschnitzel before heading into Mitte for drinks.

Oranienburger Str. 50
10117 Berlin

Serving up Singapore style cuisine in colourful surroundings, its part of a German chain but a great fuel stop before you head out partying.


Oranienstra├če 34
10999 Berlin

Situated in Kreuzberg, Berlin's most up and coming area, this cafe bar is perfect for late night drinks. If you're looking for Berlins hipster crowd Luzia is the place to be.

The roof at Weekend

Alexanderplatz 5
10178 Berlin

At the top of a brutalist designed office tower block you'll find Weekend. And note it is quite hard to find as there isn't much sign posting. The music? Hard house and electro. In the summer it's all about the views from the rooftop and outdoor dance floor is heaving by 1am.

    the pool at Soho House
  • Soho House Berlin
Torstra├če 1
  • 10119Berlin   I know, I know, I seem to gravitate to the Soho House group wherever I go, but to be fair, you can be sure the crowd will be fun and like minded. So yes it is a members club, don't turn up unless you've preempted your visit, the door staff are militant. The roof top pool is where all the action is.Last time I was here it was minus 10 degrees and yet we still managed to go for a dip in the snow surrounded pool.
  • My friend Todd modelling for White Trash Fast Food!!!

    White Trash Fast Food Club
    Schonhauser Allee 6-7
    10119 Berlin

    Just round the corner from Soho House Berlin is grungy night club White Trash. Expect an arty, muso, fashion crowd, it's filled to the rafters with Berlin's cool kids.

    Berghain for serious clubbers

    Berghain - Panorama Bar and Kantine
    Am Wriezener Bahnhof 
    10243 Berlin

    Located in a disused power station, Berghain stands proud and dishevelled on the outskirts of Berlin. I'm not a huge techno fan, but the site has the Kanteen cafe, Kreuz Friedrichs restaurant and the Panorama Bar too. As I mentioned Lady Gaga celebrated her birthday here. The crowd is a mix of young and old, beautiful people, hipsters, gay and straight, anything goes. Berghain is the archetype of the Berlin club scene.

    Ironic oriental decor inside White Trash Fast Food night club