One of the major highlights for me this year was watching our good friend Esther Perbandt, the iconic Berlin fashion designer, succeed on the new designer competition show Making the Cut by Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn. It was the first time for me to see someone I personally know on a hit TV show and it was such a thrill to follow her through the lens of American reality TV.
Those of you who have been following us now for a long time, know that Esther is very closely connected to us as we organized one of her early runway shows with our sister project Designer Scouts back in 2010 and co-hosted the two aftershow parties of her spectacular Volksbühne fashion shows in 2014 and 2017. She also curated one of our city guides for us showing her favorite places in Berlin. It is always so amazing for us to become part of her black avantgarde universe and we feel so proud of all of her accomplishments as a designer in all those years.
photo: IVY Berlin.
It only takes one look around the dance floor to know that Berlin is a city of absolutely fire clubwear. Harnesses, latex, collars, ass-less chaps, platform shoes, and fishnets are a Berliner’s bread and butter. And it’s not just the people in Berlin who wear these clothes, but designers, labels, and shops craft and sell these unique pieces that are handmade and often from sustainable materials.
Here are iHeartBerlin’s top picks for the best spots to update your techno wardrobe in Berlin.
Supporting local businesses has always been a priority at iHeartBerlin, even more so when they are owned by queer folks. Naturally, this has become even more important in times of an ongoing global pandemic. That’s why we’re looking forward to joining the upcoming QUEER Market! There, you will be able to check out creative products from queer designers in a friendly environment implementing all the current safety and health precautions.
For this new guide, we’ve put together some of our favorite local queer businesses and labels. All of them will be part of the Queer Market on Sunday, July 26th, but there will be even more stands for you to explore on the day! iHeartBerlin will also be present with a booth and you’ll be able to get your hands on our books and other products.
photos: Lovis Ostenrik.
What an unusual time it has been. I feel excited and uneasy, that we can with absolute certainty say, that this year has truly not been like any other year of our lives. Staying inside and not being able to see our friends and family for an uncertain amount of time was a tough new challenge.
Never before have I missed human connection as deeply as I have during these past months. I can’t imagine the consequences this will have on human interaction for years to come. To now be able to finally meet people again actually brings my heart rate up. It made me realize how important a sense of togetherness is, more than I ever thought possible.
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!
photos: re-nt, Julian Zigerli.
Since our first article about designer face masks from Berlin that came out in April and featured 7 different designers who were amongst the first to produce masks a lot has changed. The senate has imposed rules that it’s compulsory to wear masks in public transport and shops. But also many more designers have decided to create masks with their own style so we have some good looking alternatives to the self-made ones or the ugly blue hospital ones. In the end, we have to wear these on our faces, so at least they should look good somehow, right?
With so many more options on the market, we thought it’s about time to make another designer face mask guide for you. We are glad to be able to support some local small businesses with our guide and give our readers some pointers on where they can get what they need. We decided not to repeat any of the designers from our first guide as this one still is new and valid. So please see this as the second part, you can find the designers from the first part right here.
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.
photos: Hanko Ye.
Contesting outdated social norms is in itself a favorite pastime of many Berliners, but it gets even better when the critique is accompanied by elements of the new counterculture. That’s what the Riot Pant Project is all about – read on to find out more about the subversive trend that reclaims public space from the grip of social masculinity.
It is no secret that we are huge fans of Berlin label UY. So it comes as no surprise that we were thrilled to find out that the label plans a very special extravaganza to celebrate its 5th anniversary. Combining their passion for the theatrical and their strong connection to Berlin’s nightlife the event was recently revealed to be a dance performance at Halle (the awesome location inside the building of Berghain) that will premiere tonight!
We had the chance to witness the press preview last night and of course, took the opportunity to capture some impressions for you. You can expect a grand spectacle with lots of golden outfits, a fantastic choreography by The Progressive Wave, and a soundtrack by Dasha Rush that could not be more fitting for the location. You should get tickets for the 19h or 21h show and join the after party at Berghain Kantine.
If you want to experience a truly innovative presentation of cutting-edge fashion in Berlin you need to keep an eye out for the events at TRAUMABARUNDKINO. The hidden place in Moabit has put out a series of fashion events since the last November that combines contemporary dance with fashion. Of course, there have been attempts at blending dance with fashion elsewhere before, but trust me, never have they been as cool as at TRAUMA.
Following the success of Now You May Tell That I Have Been Seen By You the fashion department of TRAUMA lead by Tanja Bombach has now put out a second event titled Catalogue of Disguise showcasing designs by Olga Khristolyubova, Aleksndru Plesco, and Tanja herself. With an impressive choreography by Franka Marlene Foth that I could easily see at the theatres in Berlin and a stellar cast of dancers the piece was a big advancement of the already pretty amazing first event. Every little detail was perfect from the designs to the performance, the hair and make-up, music and light. It’s so rare you see something as complex as this brought to perfection in each of its aspects. Congratulations to the entire team. I draw my hat.
There are no further words that will do this level of excellence any justice, so I decide to let my photo and GIF impressions speak instead.