photos: Alicia Kassebohm
“I’ve been wearing my beard for about seven years now nonstop. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Actually, the effect it has is completely secondary to me – overall my beard gives me safety and protection. In fact it feels like a pair of fluffy socks or a cuddly pullover: though it is not essential, I feel more at ease and peaceful with it.”
Photographer and visual designer Alicia Kassebohm has been working on her ongoing photo series Beardicted now for over a year making very special beard portraits of interesting men. Every beard is unique, that’s why all of the portraits have an individual styling. For iHeartBerlin she let’s the men behind the beards speak about the fetishized extra hair in their faces. Enjoy the first part of our new series The Beard Monologues with Sascha from FluxFM and more photos after the jump.
As the best things come in threes I have one more Berlin Fashion Week for you. While the presentations of Franziska Michael and Barre Noire were quite outgoing the collection of Berlin-based label Blame was a little bit more classic and monochrome in black, coal and shades of rose. As this color palette suggests the collection was inspired by Winter’s Aurora which is also its title. They had modern combinations of knitwear and leather, clean shapes with rich details. Overall the garments had darker tones and some playful crochet applications. The focus was on the modern designs and materials. The designers Sarah Büren and Sonja Hodzode are returning to the roots of their design work with their new looks. Get your own impression after the jump.
Another highlight of my Berlin Fashion Week tour was the presentation of young label Barre Noire, which created a proper disco mood inspired by legendary Studio 54. There were mirror balls on the ceiling, colorful outfits with rhinestones, shimmering patterns and glittering shoes on tattoed models that rocked the show. The accessories were an excellent continuation of the urban disco theme: headphones, caps with wings or big tridimensional Barre Noire initials and sporty watches from the collaboration with Baby-G. The vibrant and sporty looks were completed with silver fingertips. The impressions after the jump.
Being part of Berlin Fashion Week is by far more than just drinking champagne and watching fashion shows. I became especially aware of the required strength and discipline when I tried to attend a whole string of events in only two days, including a look behind the scenes. However, young designer Franziska Michael succeeded in creating a great kind of retreat that every other journalist and photographer around me was happy to cherrish.
The guests of her presentation entered the studio and where surprised by an eloborate set-up centering around a gate covered in roses. Between fog and hay stacks the models were positioned in a gloomy, yet romantic scenery. The designer obviously drew her inspiration from nature, which also reflects in her choice of colors: apricot, light yellow, khaki, rose and black. The cuts are clear and lineal, perfected with different materials and psychedelic patterns, that have also been prominent in her previous collections. The contrasts she created are greatly unexpected. The gelled hair parted in the middle paired with modern patterns, the quilted cycling shorts combined with black socks – she definately knows how to make a statement. Enjoy my impressions after the jump.
Mr. Max Factor, the original make-up artist to the stars, created the looks for such luminous Hollywood faces such as Bette Davis, Ava Gardne and Jean Harlow. He opened a studio in Hollywood where the stars could come by and have their ‘look’ individually tailored to their faces. Did you know Lucille Ball was not a natural red head? The color and the makeup to match were developed for her by Mr. Factor! This practice of personalizing the look grew into the first make-up for the non-stars or ‘society make-up’ with such must haves as ‘flexible grease paint’ for the face (lovely), the first portable lip balm pots (looking like little tins of shoe polish) and of course Max Factor’s renowned mascara wand, the first of its kind – just trying to imagine life without mascara – makes my eyelashes shudder…
Anyway, the moral of the story is that evoking the spirit of the legendary Mr. Factor, The Max Factor team have ‘popped-up’ a Make-Up Studio on Alte Schönhauser Straße 48 in Berlin Mitte, where for the next three weeks their welcoming space and team of professionals is ready, waiting and devoted to helping us non-stars develop our own personal look or ‘develop the make-up artist within’ and purchase the associated Max Factor products in store. And of course to bring it all into today’s digital age there is a special iPad terminal to record your new look and share it immediately with your online fan’s (ahem, friends) to bring out the star in us all!! Read more about my first visit there and win 3 Max Factor packages after the jump.
photo: Markus Lambert
If busy-ness is a measure of success then it would appear that things are going very well for René Talmon L’Armée, lucky last in my Accessory Dairies interviews, mainly because he was endlessly hard to pin down. Always apologising profusely for being terribly busy whenever I finally got him on the phone. Rightly so, as he points out in regards to surviving as an accessory designer in Berlin: “If you are good, you can make your living from whatever you do.” And it is quite clear from his beautifully hand crafted, precious metal jewellery that he is very good at what he does…
I love when a designer has all the skills to break the rules, Elena Ruebel obviously knows her craft, well studied in design and trained in a variety of mediums. The form and concepts behind her jewellery showcase this knowledge with a subtle edge of the unusual. Read my interview with here…
Tanja Tikarli from My Skin Italy studied gaphic design but always loved accessories. A visit to her boyfriend’s family company (luxury leather goods craftsmen behind Italian ‘greats’ Balestra, Laura Biagiotti, Valentino, Lancetti to name-drop a few) sparked her creativity and luckily the boy was a willing accomplice. Together they have established their collection of hand crafted leather accessories with the skill of generations and a fresh design aesthetic. Read my interview with her here…
This week I interviewed designer/stylist Kalina Gospodinova. The hype is certainly building around her accessories label AN!MAL - rich in texture, dark in vibe. The layered, leather pieces tasselled up a stir over Berlin Fashion Week with an artfully dark fashion film directed by Emilio El-Lauren that was presented at the projektGalerie Pop-Up Shop. Featuring flashes of grappling leather clad girls to a persistent drumming beat you can certainly see the designer’s styling background come out to play and it’s all very animalistic… Enjoy the video and read my interview after the jump.
Berlin is poor but sexy, so it follows that the Berliners are probably not a great market to buy your designs but get them wearing it cos they’ll make it look damn sexy- and everyone knows sex sells!
As a struggling designer (but aren’t we all) of a fledgling jewellery label in the city of Berlin, i am interested to see how other designers are surviving in the city that perfected cool but saves its pennies for beer and cigarettes. There’s no lack of ways to showcase your wares here; with endless design markets and exhibition opportunities, but after the materialistic mindset of my hometown Sydney i wonder: where are all the consumers?? So in the interest of personal research i take it upon myself to harass some other designers from far and wide who have also been seduced by Berlin and are attempting to support themselves in this broke but sexy city…
I’d like to start with artist and designer Ebon Heath who likes to play with words in his work – in the literal sense. Read my interview with him and check out his amazing jewellery after the jump.