How to Get the Berlin Look

How to Get the Berlin Look

While Berlin’s weather is too unpredictable to count on it, at least you don’t have to worry about always having to find the appropriate outfit for the current circumstances. Berliners tend to be quite liberal as far as putting together a look goes. Or taking a look apart, for that matter: showing some skin is often a viable option. At the first glance, it might look like they’re just throwing on random stuff they just picked up at Humana, but there’s a logic to this aesthetic madness.

Together with the illustrator Sophia Halamoda, we’ve analyzed some of the most prevailing Hauptstadt fashion trends for our book Like A Berliner (available here) and extracted some advice for you on how to get the Berlin look from the chapter Look Like A Berliner!  

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Decoding the Different Dance Styles at Techno Raves

Decoding the Different Dance Styles at Techno Raves

I admit it: I don’t have TikTok and whatever goes on there has so far completely passed by me. But if there is one video that would actually draw me into it, it’s the one by the beautiful Lola. Earlier this month one of her TikTok videos went viral on her Twitter that I want to share with you here as it’s pure genius because not only is it very accurate, it’s also quite hilarious. In a little montage, she performs the different dance styles that you will typically see at techno parties, not only here in Berlin but I assume worldwide, including the “basic 2 step”, the “roly poly”, the “march” and the “berghain veteran sway”. I think everyone who has been to a techno party will recognize these moves easily, and real techno kids will most likely recognize themselves here. The interesting thing is, she is doing it with such a straight face (as is typical at a rave) that you can’t tell if it’s a mockery or pure education. It’s whatever you decide what it is for you. We absolutely love it and hope to bump into this girl once the clubs reopen…

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Dresscode: The Contrasting Daytime and Nightlife Outfits of Berliners

Dresscode: The Contrasting Daytime and Nightlife Outfits of Berliners

photos: Kseniya Apresyan. 

This photography series by Kseniya Apresyan showcases one characteristic Berlin is a paragon of – the freedom that for many is almost synonymous with the city’s kinky nightlife. But don’t expect sneaky snapshots from the dancefloor – this project brings the partygoers back into reality, creating intriguing images of their respective lifestyles.

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Stay at Home: Portraying Berliners through their Windows

Stay at Home: Portraying Berliners through their Windows

photos: Lovis Ostenrik. 

These last couple of weeks it became almost a mantra: Stay at home! Angela Merkel said it, viral expert Drosten said it, your mom said it, we said it. It’s in everyone’s ears, and in everyone’s mouths.

But what does “staying at home” mean for everybody? It’s certainly not the same for everyone. If you’re living alone in a dark studio apartment in the backyard it can certainly start to feel claustrophobic at some point. But if you’re lucky to live in a big bright Altbau with balcony (or even better: a garden) together with loved ones, it can also be pretty ok in the end. No matter if it’s a big sacrifice or just a small one, the importance as one of the most significant measures to battle this pandemic cannot be denied.

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These Berlin Fashion Designers Are Now Sewing Face Masks

These Berlin Fashion Designers Are Now Sewing Face Masks

Musician & Songwriter VELVE wearing I‘ VR. 

I’m well aware that there is a certain controversy about self-made or non-medical face masks. The German government has so far been shy about ordering the people to wear face protection, mostly because of the extreme shortage of available certified masks but also because the effectiveness of masks is still debated. One thing is certain though: Those few countries that have a mask policy in place seem to have much flatter curves. This can, of course, have various reasons. But then again, if you just think about it. The more people wearing masks, the less those will accidentally cough or sneeze out into the open in the early stages of infection when they are the most contagious and the least likely to show symptoms yet.

While a few weeks ago the Germans seemed to be quite reluctant to wear masks, in the last week it has dramatically changed and I see a lot of people with self-made or other fabric masks out in the streets. And I do admit it does make me feel a little more safe seeing more people around wearing masks and consciously protecting others from being accidentally infected by them.

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Why I’m Afraid to Leave Berlin

Why I’m Afraid to Leave Berlin

photos: Beth James. 

When I think about Berlin I imagine the U-Bahn rattling on the overhead tracks, pigeons flapping above rooftops and the faint sound of techno in the distance. Berlin is graffiti, sweaty nightclubs, beers on the canal, weird art exhibitions, midnight bike rides, sticky summer days that wrap around you like a blanket and icy, grey winters that make you forget what summer feels like. Berlin is late nights and early mornings, lake swims, laughter on rooftops, marathon dance sessions and afternoons in the park, shoes off, lying on your back under a hazy sun. It‘s a place that tempts you and taunts you, that lifts you up and tears you down. Where freedom reigns and no-one gives a shit. It gets under your skin, and the longer you stay the harder it is to leave.

Berlin is also an identity, and many wear it as a badge of honour. That’s why you see people with Instagram accounts that say their name and “Berlin”. Because it’s a vibe, it stands for something. Being associated with it explains who you are. I’m finding it hard to untangle myself from this identity I have been wrapped in for the better part of a decade. It has taken a lot of soul-searching to make the decision to leave my long-time lover, with its dark heart and endless thrills. Over the years, whenever I felt it could be the right moment to go I would be sucked back in, somehow pulled by an invisible current. I would come up with a million reasons why this was the place for me, and why I could never find anything like what I had here.

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Game-Changers for Singles in Self-Isolation

Game-Changers for Singles in Self-Isolation

photos: Kinga Cichewicz

Just when I thought that being single in Berlin couldn’t possibly get any harder, the level of difficulty has skyrocketed because of the pandemic. It feels like suddenly, one is basically stripped of all the cool Berlin single life privileges but has to carry all of its burdens. Ironically, in pre-Corona times, singles would sometimes get annoyed by some of the very things that actually can bring us solace in the current circumstances of isolation.

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The Dancers from the Staatsballett Berlin Dancing From Home

The Dancers from the Staatsballett Berlin Dancing From Home

As you probably know we’re big fans of the Staatsballett Berlin here at iHeartBerlin. So naturally, this new video really warmed our hearts when we first saw it: Initiated and edited by Principal Dancer Ksenia Ovsyanick, 45 of the dancers recorded themself at their homes or wherever they spent their quarantine giving a little performance that seamlessly blends over from one dancer to the next as if they all danced together in unison. The result is a cute little collage of all the dancers that give us some positive vibes and smiles in these strange times. Thank you guys for that, we can’t wait to see you back on stage, hopefully soon!

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The New Netflix Show Unorthodox is an Escape to Berlin

The New Netflix Show Unorthodox is an Escape to Berlin

Since Dark, the German TV show productions of Netflix have unfortunately not really been my cup of tea. This changes with the new mini-series Unorthodox created by Anna Winger and Alexa Karolinski and directed by the wonderful Maria Schrader (also known as an actress from Deutschland 83/86 and the film classic Aimée & Jaguar). I just finished the entire 4 episodes in one evening and really warmly recommend it to everyone, especially since it does a good job at making Berlin look incredible.

The show is based on the autobiographical book by Deborah Feldmans by the same name and tells the story of 19-year-old Esty who grows up in the ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community of Brooklyn – or as another Jewish character from the show describes it: the “lunatic fringe”. During her arranged marriage Esty realizes that she can’t imagine living her life under such strict rules, so she escapes to Berlin where she gets drawn into the scene of young aspiring musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic. Both timelines, her final year in Brooklyn and her first days in Berlin, are told in parallel which creates an impressive contrast between the strict community and the liberal life in Berlin.

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The Closing Of Berlin As We Know It

The Closing Of Berlin As We Know It

With the imminent closing of beloved Neukölln nightclub Griessmuehle coming up soon, the oldest cinema of Berlin, Moviemento, fighting for its survival and the iconic Clärchens Ballhaus already shut down the current mood of the city is pretty much set. Is the Berlin that we know and love gradually going to shut down now? Did the commercial powers that be finally win and swallow the alternative, untamable, free-spirited Berlin? I’m not gonna blame you if this is how you feel.

As someone who has been observing Berlin for 20 years now, I have seen many cherished clubs and cultural places go, some are even dearly missed today. The division of the city, the unwanted and abandoned places, relics of the industrialization, they all offered so much space for the underground and nightlife scenes to develop and thrive, especially since the wall came down. It created an ever thirsty and unflinching spirit to re-invent, re-purpose and experiment with spaces, objects, ideas. It created a city that turned its lack of pompous sights into a virtue and made its lifestyle into the magnetic quality that brought countless people here over the past couple of decades.

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