How to Handle Patriotic Humiliation Abroad

iheartberlin_trump_tv

illustrations: Ray Noland

Now is not exactly the best time to be an American expat. After the election results an Australian friend texted me “you had one job.” I knew he was joking but I could still feel the shame burning inside of me. Just because I wasn’t on the figurative plane as it barreled down to earth, my friends and family were, and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it.

Sure, perhaps I could have done more; like engage the few Trump supporters in my family or skip a night out to make campaign calls in swing states, but like many others, I was pretty damn comfortable in my bubble. I never thought in a million years that an orange, under qualified tyrant would succeed, so I didn’t feel the need to go out of my way. Instead, I just sat back and watched the disaster unfold from the safety of my Schillerkiez flat.

Immediately after I heard the news that he won, however, I felt shame. I worried about how the rest of the world would view the US. I worried about the damage that Trump would do to the environment, foreign relationships, and women’s rights. I worried about the future of my niece.

Frank by Frank
on January 20th, 2017
in Stories

Esther Perbandt Steals the Show at Berlin Fashion Week

Esther Perbandt 13 After Show Party-1838

Esther Perbandt won Fashion Week! I said that to her after her spectacular show on Tuesday, well aware that Fashion Week was not a contest to be won. She laughed and said, “but it’s only the first day”. And I responded: “Who do you think is going to top that?”

The show – her second one on the main stage of the historic theater – was a true happening that will be spoken about for years to come. We all knew that we were in for a treat when we waited in anticipation for the show to begin. The stage is just too exquisit and larger than life for it to be only a simple runway show. And it wasn’t and that’s what’s so great about Esther. She got it, as one of the few designers in Berlin (maybe even the only one) that to properly present a vision you have to do more than just send some models down a runway. You want the people to feel something, you want these feelings to be associated with your designs and your brand. As a designer you have so much more to say than the design of one garment could ever express. There is a whole vision attached to it, something that I guess is really hard to materialize. But Esther gave us a great look into her vision with this show. She proved to be more than a designer, she’s a true visionary.

As you can easily guess from my words above I am still quite in awe about the event. But I promise you, I was not the only one. After the curtain fell the people left the hall with glowing eyes full of excitement. I have never seen a crowd leave a fashion show with such enthusiasm. And you could feel it also in the after party because this was much more than the usual standing around, looking good and sipping on drinks affair. The people were still ecstatic and joyfully danced the night away. Of course the delicious drinks by World Class and Belsazar Vermouth also had something to do with the good mood ;)

I feel privileged to call Esther my friend, I feel proud to have been involved in this amazing event. I can’t wait to see the video of the show and relive these breath-taking moments (stay tuned for that). For now let’s enjoy the photos of the party. Here’s to Esther Perbandt!

Frank by Frank
on January 20th, 2017
in Fashion, Party

Narcissism in the Time of Social Media

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photo: Schall & Schnabel

Perfect, care-free, enviable: these used to be the three adjectives that would come up in my mind the moment I would take a look at the shiny profiles of my acquaintances on social media – one cannot really call them friends, right? There would have been plenty occasions in the past, where I would start wondering what my life lacks and is not as “cool” as theirs.

Taking insecurity to a brand new level I would even catch myself feeling sad, if my new post had not received the expected number of likes; choosing my new profile picture would demand a full-fledged strategy, that would put even the most acute Brexit negotiators to shame. However, I would still sense that this is not enough. There would always be someone flaunting various parts of their life they would be most proud of ranging from abs and new pieces of clothing to luxurious holidays – I still refuse to believe the existence of hashtags, such as #moneyisnottheproblem – and partying in the most talked-about clubs.

Nikos by Nikos
on January 19th, 2017
in Art, Stories

A Berlin Legend: The Fabulous Romy Haag

Romy006

photo via Romy Haag

Have you ever heard about Romy Haag? If not, and you’re reading iHeartBerlin right now, which makes me dare to assume you cannot be completely indifferent to Berlin’s distinctive aura, you truly owe it to your sparkling self (and general culture awareness) to continue with this article.

And although I’m well aware that writers are prone to mythologizing ordinary life, I really feel like in this case I could not possibly overdo it. When I’m trying to summon up all the various reasons for why Berlin feels just like a natural habitat for all that’s unnatural, there doesn’t seem to be a single one that Romy Haag wouldn’t have something to do with.

Michalina by Michalina
on January 18th, 2017
in People

A Fashionable Car Revealed at Berlin Fashion Week

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What happens when a car is designed not by an automobile designer but by a fashion stylist? You will find out this week during Berlin Fashion Week…

It makes a lot of sense. The sophisticated individualists of today expect a certain level of style from every product they surround themselves with. It doesn’t stop at fashion, interior design and consumer electronics. It’s only natural that they desire their cars to match their aesthetics as well. The smart BRABUS tailor made program is the clever answer to this as it gives customers the chance to design the slick city car in the colors and with the features they wish.

Frank by Frank
on January 17th, 2017
in Fashion, Products

The Beauty of a Snow-Covered Berlin

Snowy Berlin

photos: Markus Braumann

Winter could be described in countless ways. Among the most positive ones would be its definition as the time of year when all you want is to stay somewhere warm and cozy and spend quality time with your loved ones, while you are protected from the cold awaiting you outside. Should you be lucky and get the chance to see snow, well this can lead to a lot of fun. These days in Berlin, we have been experiencing both. In any case, there is a social and artistic side of winter in this city, that is perfectly encapsulated in the impressive photographs of Markus Braumann, which range from cars, train platforms or streets covered in white, the entire city disguised under the vail of fog or when the snow is combined with the breathtaking sunrise that cuts through the city. Enjoy his beautiful photos and let’s appreciate this snow-covered Berlin.

Nikos by Nikos
on January 17th, 2017
in Photos

Where to Shop Berlin Designers

vektor

photo: VEKTOR

A great way to express your identity to the outside world is definitely clothing. Berlin’s community is extraordinarily supportive of people sporting clothes that are anything but appropriate, genuinely individual and often mocking the standards of what’s considered trendy. That’s why the capital is all excited for the Berlin Fashion Week starting on the 17th of January. Before you set out on what may become a crazy marathon between different shows and sales, get a little heads-up on where to shop the real Berlin Designers in our latest guide.

Apart from the permanent shops in our list we also recommend the Projekt Galerie designer sample sale that happens only during this special week and features a lot of local design treasures.

Michalina by Michalina
on January 16th, 2017
in Charlottenburg, Fashion, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukölln, Shops

A Guide to Berlin curated by Esther Perbandt

Esther Perbandt World Class 13-0958

Esther Perbandt is Berlin’s number one avant-garde designer and with her label operating way over 10 years now she leads one of the most established fashion brands in Berlin. The sophisticated, androgynous style of her designs is unique – worldwide – and has gained her a fanbase that includes not only international avant-garde lovers but also the local creatives from the worlds of theater, cinema, art and music.

In anticipation for her next big show that will happen in the coming week at the impressive Volksbühne theater we met with Esther to speak with her about her favorite places in Berlin. If you want to be part of the big celebration of her 13th collection on January 17th you should join us for drinks (kindly supplied by World Class and Belsazar Vermouth) at the official after show party that starts at 21h in the Sternenfoyer of Volksbühne.

Frank by Frank
on January 13th, 2017
in Bars, Cafés, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Museums, Restaurants, Shops

A Taste of Iran in Berlin: Sabzi & Coucou

Coucou 4

Berlin is blessed with culinary delights of lands near and far. A mélange de tout, the Hauptstadt has something to offer to everyone. While the influence of Middle Eastern flavors is felt on every corner in form of Döners, Falafel, and kebabs, the Iranian cuisine is still heavily underrepresented. Few restaurants are trying to inject some of the exotic East into Germany’s beating heart and few people too. Among such people is Anahita, an Iranian girl whose  Sabzi and Coucou are bringing in the Persian flavors with an added twist.

by Guest Author
on January 12th, 2017
in Mitte, Restaurants

A Sweet Tooth Guide to Berlin

brammibals donuts

photo: Brammibal’s Donuts

I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Ever since I was a little kid hanging in my parents’ grocery shop, I’d covertly fill up my pockets with candy. Not much changed. I mean, luckily I started financing the addiction on my own and the only thing I may occasionally steal is the show, but, despite strong human competition, my love affair with confectionery is still at the top of my most toxic relationships list. Basically, when I first saw the phrase “death by chocolate”, I felt like that’s what my gravestone is going to read. If you’re like me, or want to really impress a boy or girl with a tendency for sweet self-indulgence (there are many of us around here!), take them to one of those places:

Michalina by Michalina
on January 11th, 2017
in Cafés, Charlottenburg, Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Mitte, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg, Schöneberg