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.
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!
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.
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.
photos: Aviel Gan
When I first saw the event about the No Pants Subway Ride happening in Berlin I thought this was one of those joke events that are not for real. It wasn’t until yesterday night when photographer Aviel Gan submitted his pictures of the event to us that I realized that this was actually for real! So yesterday a group of people gathered in the subway and took their pants off. Just for the fun of it. It’s true, I read up on it on their Facebook page, there is no deeper meaning to it, simply an improvisation with open participation. Well, why not. Anything is possible I guess, especially here. The whole thing was initiated by a group called Improv Everywhere and hails all the way over from NYC, it’s been happening in Berlin already for 5 years in a row and it’s really the first year that I took notice of it. How could I have missed that? Enjoy the photos of the peculiar subway ride below.
Whenever a cool graffiti turns up over night inside the subway stations of the Berliner U-Bahn or even on their trains the artwork has a relatively short life because the BVG will probably remove it soon. Of course they see it as an act of vandalism on their property, even though they might recognize some of the graffitis as quite artistic, it’s still a disruption of their daily business that they need to remove. It’s a shame really, in some cases especially, because these pieces will catch the attention of so many passengers and will distract them from their daily routine of commuting, even make them think about the messages incorporated into the graffitis, just like art should: make people think about it. In the end it’s also just a nice change from all the bill boards.
For me 2016 was actually a great year, even though I almost don’t dare saying it out loud. A lot of sad and terrible things happened in 2016, yes, but there still was a lot of good stuff that I think needs some more attention: Small and big moments in Berlin that showed what a great city this is and what amazing people live here. We should focus more on these things, at least for a moment, and take these positive memories and feelings with us into the new year.
Here are the most happy moments and amazing happenings of 2016 in photos and videos.
In the last two years I have grown a bit tired of always carrying around my heavy SLR camera that I normally use to capture places and events in Berlin. I would still take pictures, but with my smartphone. I felt the quality was quite good and the convenience of it was too tempting. Also you just look less suspicious with a smartphone than with a real one.
But the fact is, I never really put it to the test how good the quality of mobile phone cameras really is compared to the big ones. A few weeks ago I joined a comprehensive workshop with famous photographer Paul Ripke who showed us some basic tricks on how to improve your photos and he also introduced one particularly interesting new development of smartphone photography which is the professional manual mode. We got to play around with the Huawei P9 and brand new Mate 9, both of which have quite remarkable cameras with a double lens by Leica. I took one of these two with me on a photowalk around Berlin and took direct comparison shots with a medium-sized SLR camera. The results will probably surprise you…
Once upon a time there was a stunningly beautiful bearded princess called Mary-Jane. Contrary to her magnificent looks she lived in a quite unglamorous place called Berlin. It was a small little town mostly inhabited by poor people and other kinds of basic bitches. But Mary-Jane loved it here anyway because it was a tranquil place without a lot of fuzz and she just loved the feeling to be the most beautiful girl in the village.
But she had one problem that gave her a lot of grief. Despite her impeccable looks and most charming wits she couldn’t for the love of god find a damn boyfriend. And it wasn’t for lack of options because Berlin was actually known to host the most attractive man-meat on the mainland. The problem was quite another: There were just too many! It was like grabbing into a bucket full of slippery fish. It’s simply impossible to hold on to one: Just a lubricated whip with the tail and they were gone.
Tucholsky, photo: Klaus Lange
The holidays are coming up and those of you who will spend them here in Berlin might wonder: What restaurants should I go to for Christmas, New Year’s Eve or other festive holidays? Because obviously your typical burger joint or sushi place does not really fit the atmosphere here. And of course: Since these are all official holidays which places are even open, or offer a special menu for those special days? We compiled a list of our favorite restaurants – newbies and classics – that will serve you delicious food in the perfect holiday spirit. (Make sure to make your reservations early though as they might be booked out soon and keep in mind that some places will have set menus and special prices during the holidays.)