A Brave New World: Esther Perbandt Dominates the Runway at Berlin Fashion Week

A Brave New World: Esther Perbandt Dominates the Runway at Berlin Fashion Week

photos: Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images for Nowadays. 

When I met Esther Perbandt back in 2010, she was one of the already quite established Berlin Designers that decided to join Designer Scouts – the runway show event at Berlin Fashion Week for avantgarde and upcoming designers that we hosted as a sister project to iHeartBerlin. I was pretty much at the start of my involvement in the creative scene of Berlin and I remember I was especially in awe of those who had already made a name for themselves in the city. I admit that I was a little nervous at first. But Esther was so approachable and kind, there was this instant familiarity that she builds with you that made her so many friends over the years.

Esther was always a bit of a wild child in Berlin. She rarely joined the official runway of Berlin Fashion Week, rather making her own shows and events, in the streets of Berlin, or in one of Berlin’s biggest theaters, the Volksbühne, and one time even as a concert where she performed herself. She never really fit in with the other designers, because her designs were always beyond any current trends or established aesthetics, nor were they particularly compatible with pop culture. Esther has always designed for the type of individuals that want to remain individualistic. She was always bending gender norms and mixing up male and female silhouettes and details – long before genderless fashion became a trend. She always stayed faithful to the avant-garde and artistic side of fashion.

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PLATTE Brings Voguing & Ballroom to the Runway of Berlin Fashion Week

PLATTE Brings Voguing & Ballroom to the Runway of Berlin Fashion Week

Berlin has a new space and platform for emerging local designers and what better to put yourself onto the map with the most exciting fashion show during this week’s Berlin Fashion Week.  PLATTE is a project dedicated to supporting the fashion scene of Berlin in a sustainable way by offering space, structure, and expertise to upcoming local designers and brands. The makers of PLATTE are dear of colleagues of iHeartBerlin that have over a decade of experience in the field. Sevil Uguz is the founder of LNFA which is a network and fashion store for local brands at Bikini Berlin, and Arne Eberle is a Berlin Fashion Week veteran and co-founder of OE Magazine.

In their amazing space at Memhardstraße, they will host pop-up stores, workshops, showrooms, exhibitions, events and so much more. With their first event that happened on Tuesday, they gave a preview of what’s to come and their focus on working in an interdisciplinary way. They invited members of the Berlin ballroom scene to curate a runway show of a different kind. Housemother Ambrosia from the Kiki House of Angels brought together a cast of diverse performers who proofed that models can have any size, shape, and identity and look fabulous on the runway. And European housefather David from the house of Milan put together the choreography for the show that would have spectators gagging later on.

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Esther Perbandt Steals the Show at Berlin Fashion Week

Esther Perbandt Steals the Show at Berlin Fashion Week

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!

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Fashion Special: Berlin loves Nordic Fashion

Fashion Special: Berlin loves Nordic Fashion

Liisa Riski, Finland

When it comes to fashion the Germans are a bit unusual. The Italians, they proudly love their Italian fashion. The French love to wear the designs from the runways of Paris. And the British, they admire their traditional British brands. But the Germans, they prefer something other than their own labels: The Germans turn their heads to the Nordic countries for style. And it’s basically been like that since I can remember. Germans, and also in particular the Berliners, are just obsessed with fashion from Sweden, Denmark & co. While that is on the one hand quite sad for the German brands that nowadays avoid the local Fashion Week and rather show their collections on foreign runways, it’s a total win for the Scandinavians who – for us – seem to be the essence of style.

The Nordic Fashion Hub that takes place at Bikini Berlin Concept Shopping Mall from June 28th til July 2nd 2016 is now bringing us some more of this coveted design from our European neighbors. In a temporary fashion exhibition in the ground floor of the mall you will be able to see the new collections of 15 labels from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The selection really shows the bandwidth of Nordic design that ranges from their signature minimalism over classic feminine looks to bold and eccentric designs. After the jump we want to show you a preview of the participating labels and of the exhibition at Bikini Berlin. Come by tonight at 19h for the opening reception or visit the Nordic Fashion Hub on the following days.

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A Guide to Priceless Restaurant Experiences in Berlin

A Guide to Priceless Restaurant Experiences in Berlin

photo: Shan Rahimkhan

Our restaurant guides are among the most popular features here on the blog and we love to come up with new themes and topics to curate the gastronomic gems of the city for your enjoyment. Among all our culinary guides, the most successful turned out to be the one with the most unusual restaurants – this seems to have been a particularly fun one, both for our readers and for us.

To give you something new in a similar spirit we have teamed up with MasterCard who have a really exciting program going on that is a perfect match for us. I’m sure you’re heard of the term “Priceless” in connection with MasterCard, which they use to cherish all those unique moments in our life that you just can’t put a price tag on. In continuation of this idea they initiated MasterCard® Priceless® Cities – a program that grants MasterCard® cardholders access to exclusive and “priceless” experiences in selected metropolises in the world – including Berlin, of course – and let’s them discover their cities in exciting new ways.

For our new guide we have chosen some of the most extraordinary restaurants that are part of the Priceless® Berlin program and that offer you an experience that goes way beyond a great meal in a nice ambience. Enjoy our selection of 8 priceless restaurant experiences in Berlin.

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Dandy Diary Party Photos

Dandy Diary Party Photos

photos: Alicia Kassebohm

The boys from Dandy Diary did it again: They hosted one of the biggest Berlin Fashion Week parties of the season. But something was different this season: For the first time their party wasn’t open to the public as usual. This was pretty much a blow for all the fans and fashion enthusiast for whom the Dandy Diary party was one of the few opportunity to take part in the Fashion Week circus without needing an exclusive invitation. This seems to have been a trend this season in general. Never has our BFW guide of public events been so small as this season. Is Berlin Fashion Week starting to become more exclusive? And if so, why now? Well, we for our part have always appreciated all the events that welcomed everyone regardless of their credentials. In the end the more exclusive events were not even much more interesting, the fun took place somewhere else… After the jump we have some impressions from the Dandy Diary party shot by our girl Alicia. Enjoy…

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The New Face Of Fashion: Berlin

The New Face Of Fashion: Berlin

photo: Glen Luchford/Gucci

Berlin is famous and loved for its style-less culture, whatever you want to wear, you can wear. There doesn’t need to be a difference between your comfortable home look and your Berghain outfit, but with the Berlin Fashion Week starting today the city is once again about to get busy, trendy and super chic. But it’s not only the Fashion Week that gives our ‘poor fashion city’ some attention from the big names in the industry – Berlin itself has moved into focus and is the secret star of two major fashion campaigns, released last week.

Yes, Gucci and Givenchy both decided to shoot their campaigns for 2016 in different iconic areas of town – using the historic vibe of the 70’s/80’s and the Plattenbau-chic to support their new fashion creations. Berlin is the place to be for music, art, culture and obviously the new face in fashion. Check out the full campaigns after the jump…

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Berlin Fashion Week Guide – January 2016

Berlin Fashion Week Guide – January 2016

Esther Perbandt AW16

Another Berlin Fashion Week starts today! And what’s hot this season? Our avant-garde favorite is collaborating with contemporary dance at Radialsysteme V, Dandy Diary teamed up with adidas for their popular Fashion Week party, the Berlin Fashion Film Festival is getting together with the LNFA store and YDL Fashion Network, there is gonna be another #FASHIONTECH conference about the future of fashion and Kaltblut Magazine is presenting a couple of labels at Happy Shop. This and more in our Berlin Fashion Week Guide.

SADAK and the Pink Burka

SADAK and the Pink Burka

photos: Hiroyuki Koshikawa

Another Berlin Fashion Week is over and we are overwhelmed with impressions (and our hard drives with photos) from all the different shows and events. In the next couple of days we’ll be releasing some of the highlights of last week, starting with one of the coolest menswear shows from the official runway. We’ve followed and adored the work of Berlin-based label SADAK now for a few years, not only his fashion, but also his costumes that he did for theater pieces and exhibitions. For many years SADAK has been mostly focussing on the Asian market with his progressive and daring menswear, but since last season he has been showing in Berlin, too.

His new collection that he presented on the official runway last week brought up an interesting concept that I am sure will cause some heated discussion. Some of his outfits were inspired by Burkas and one print was depicting to characters wearing all kind of Burkas. The Burka is quite a controversial symbol from the Muslim religion and culture and I think it’s not an overstatement to say that “playing” with this symbol is in a way daring. It will certainly provoke your thoughts. Yet, it is interesting that he did what Claudio asked for last season in this article. To bring some diversity and some cultural dialogue on the runway of a usually quite commercial fashion week.

But apart from this the rest of his collection didn’t need any strong symbols as they show an immense growth of the designer in his style, it’s probably the most sophisticated collection I have seen from him. Enjoy some backstage impressions by our guest contributor Hiroyuki Koshikawa after the jump.

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Esther Perbandt amplified by Raumfeld

Esther Perbandt amplified by Raumfeld

For a few years now the fashion shows by Berlin avant-garde designer Esther Perbandt have been not only about fashion but also about performance and music. For her 10th anniversary last year she had an experimental choir and an expressive dancer open her big show at the Volksbühne. The following season she herself stepped into the spotlight singing live for the first time during her fashion show. This season Esther once more created a bridge to the world of music and theater bringing in the opera singers Nadja Michael and Felix Räuber who were performing magnificently to the electronic soundscapes by Sven Helbig.

Of course such a music-driven fashion show requires a sound expert as a partner. Already for the second time Esther Perbandt has teamed up with the Berlin-based company Raumfeld that produces high quality wireless multi-room speaker systems that play music in true high fidelity thanks to the use of high-end audio components and the playback of lossless audio files. We featured the brand a while ago with an interview and store visit of their shop at Bikini Berlin and we also got to try out one of their impressive speaker sets. During the fashion show of Esther Perbandt we spotted several Raumfeld Stereo Cubes all over the place which we remember from our interview is one of their best reviewed products.

Some backstage impressions, the show review and photos of the new collection after the jump. Enjoy!

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