Glitzy burlesque, and utter SHEER MADNESS!

Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn. Photo@ R.Pater

Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn.
Photo@ R.Pater

My goodness, what a lovely summer we’re having. The weather is glorious and Berliners are out and about.

July was so much fun. I went to Berlin Fashion Week Yay!

I got my first ever press pass and I have to tell you like, if you’re ever going to dance the night away, you’ve got to totally do it in Berlin!

Last week, my husbandThe Music Producer and I went to a music, variety, show, and venue called the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin. If you recall in May, I pretty much went to the last showing of Breakin’ Mozart. The performance was so popular that they’re bringing the production back again in 2015!

I had such a good time that I asked to watch the latest production of the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin called: SHEER MADNESS or (in German), Der Helle Wahnsinn.

Going bonkers at Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn. Photo@ R.Pater

Going bonkers at Sheer Madness or Der Helle Wahnsinn.
Photo@ R.Pater

Utter Sheer Madness!

WHAT’S THE WINTERGARTEN VARIETÉ BERLIN or SIMPLY WINTERGARTEN BERLIN?

 A vintage Berlin 1940's advertisement poster.

A vintage Berlin 1940’s advertisement poster.

Well, the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin is a venue that was considered one of the stage entertainment places to be, between 1887 and 1943.

Today, the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin is now a large variety theatre and located in a different part of Berlin known as Schöneberg. Schöneberg is a stylish, leafy suburb with boulevards and open-air markets.

Schöneberg also happens to be Berlin’s popular centre of gay life and community, where Christopher Isherwood (the inspiration of both the musical and the film “Cabaret”), once used to live, and where Marlene Dietrich used to frequent the legendary “El Dorado” bar.

 Sara Bowden showing her true colours at Sheer Madness. photo@ Robert Pater


Sara Bowden showing her true colours at Sheer Madness.
photo@ Robert Pater

But I digress. I mean SHEER MADNESS?

Berlin is no stranger to “the other” and in fact, you only have to walk around for a few hours to realise that we’re all pretty weird around here, and completely bonkers. In fact, someone once brought a pony onto the train a few years ago.

A pony!

We’ve also had a pack of dogs that looked suspiciously like a pack of wolves.

On. The. Train!

Last winter, The Music Producer and I went to the student-filled suburb of Friedrichshain on the tram, and practically everyone on the tram (even though it’s technically illegal), had a bottle of beer in their hands. One guy even had a glass too and was pouring it in a very relaxed manner! I myself, have walked into one of Europe’s oldest luxury hotel groups: the prestigeous Hotel Adlon Kempinski with bare feet, hair all astray, and make-up stuck to the side of my mouth!

So what’s it all about?

We're not crazy. You are! Photo@ R.Pater

We’re not crazy. You are! Photo@ R.Pater

WHAT IS SHEER MADNESS?

SHEER MADNESS or (in German), Der Helle Wahnsinn is a glitzy, burlesque, artistic show. A blend of acrobatics, dance and live music, never seen before. The show is about the bright imagination of a glitzy and flamboyant gay man called Herbert Maria Freiherr von Heymann, who shortly after World War II,  was committed for “healing purposes,” to a madhouse.

WHAT DOES SHEER MADNESS MEAN?

Well, according to my huge Collins English Dictionary & Thesaurus, madness can be defined as “insanity, lunacy, extreme anger, excitement, foolishness, or rabies!”

Yeah, that sounds pretty much like a large number of people who live in Berlin, and I’d say that I was extremely sane!

The story goes that when Herbert Maria Freiherr von Heymann arrives at the madhouse, he meets a large number of people bordering on the weird, to the utter insane.

Rummelsnuff as "Hans the Wave" showing his stuff at Sheer Madness. Don't you think he looks like Popeye with the pipe, muscles, and everything?!! Photo@ Robert Pater

Rummelsnuff as “Hans the Wave” showing his stuff at Sheer Madness. Don’t you think he looks like Popeye with the pipe, muscles, and everything?! Photo@ Robert Pater

He meets “Hans the Wave”, a former sailor who loves athletic sports, sailor songs, and lives in a world of his own.

He meets a beautiful woman who has exciting exhibitionist fits and who believes that she is the white Josephine Baker.

Some of the cast and Florian Zumkehr as "Karl the Knife" at Sheer Madness. Photo@ R.Pater

Some of the cast and Florian Zumkehr as “Karl the Knife” at Sheer Madness. Photo@ R.Pater

He meets “Karl the Knife” who is so dangerous and unpredictable, that he is permanently kept in a straitjacket because he is alleged to be a stabbing serial killer.

He meets “Kling” who doesn’t talk, but is nevertheless very communicative with his body percussion sounds.

“Somalso” is a schizophrenic woman who believes she is in a variety of different bodies.

“Sarotti,” the son of a German mother and a Moroccan father and by definition, already mad. By virtue of his birth!

The strange Collins Brothers at Sheer Madness. Photos@ R.Pater

The strange Collins Brothers at Sheer Madness.
Photos@ R.Pater

The Collins Brother, a crazy sibling set of two brothers, who try to perform magical acts.

And finally, there is the Tzigane boy-girl “Punka” – a young man who always wears girl clothing, and hardly talks.

These “mad” people live a miserable existence in the asylum, left alone with their hallucinations, fantasies, and stories. This changes however, when Herbert Maria Freiherr von Heymann joins them.

It was impossible to knock the humour, sarcasm, and joy of living, out of him. In fact, the asylum was just what he needed.

An audience!

David Pereira as "Punka" in Sheer Madness. Photo@ R. Pater

David Pereira as “Punka” in Sheer Madness.
Photo@ R. Pater

I won’t tell you anything more except that the songs were written by a British friend of ours – Jack Woodhead –  who also performs the role of Herbert Maria Freiherr von Heymann. He’s just as eccentric as I am, if not more so! And the boy-girl “Punka” was played by the rather gorgeous Spanish acrobatic artist – David Pereira.

DO I NEED TO UNDERSTAND GERMAN TO WATCH IT?

Not reaLLy.

Most of the songs which are written by Jack Woodhead and David Pereira, are sung in English. The general script is in German but the action surrounding the show, can be understood! The show is very suitable for an international audience but perhaps not for very young children, who might wonder why the girls keep lifting up their dresses and showing their knickers!

ANYTHING ELSE?

The show ends on October 5th, 2014 and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so if you want to watch it (what with the holidays n’ all), now’s probably the time!

Jack Woodhead at Sheer Madness: A man who can wear heels! Photo@ R.Pater

Jack Woodhead at Sheer Madness: A man who can wear heels!
Photo@ R.Pater

MY VERDICT?

A colourful show full of utter sheer madness, and laughter.

I love a man who can wear heels as well as I can!

Jack Woodhead with a lovely pair of silver, sparkly shoes that I want! Photo@Jack woodhead.

Jack Woodhead with a lovely pair of silver, sparkly shoes that I want!
Photo@Jack woodhead.

SHEER MADNESS is an intriguing story of screaming people, clothes gone awry, and people gone mad. The songs are a reflection of times gone by, freedom, and heartfelt songs of hope!

The show is a performance of acrobatic twists and turns, erotic ballet, tap-dancing on tables and beds, a schizophrenic girl who thinks she’s Hitler or perhaps the Queen, and a mad girl with huge circular hoops, strapped onto an operating chair!

If you like glitzy burlesque, innovative but intriguing lyrics, combined with first class acrobatics, performed by fit, attractive, people then you’ll love SHEER MADNESS at the Wintergarten Varieté Berlin. SHEER MADNESS is a show worth going to, while you are in Berlin!

David Pereira as "Punka" and Ashia Grzesik as "Sister Hildegard" in Sheer Madness. Photo@ Robert Pater.

David Pereira as “Punka” and Ashia Grzesik as “Sister Hildegard” in Sheer Madness.
Photo@ Robert Pater.

Because you can:

  • Be extremely close to a cast of gorgeous, freaky, people (depending on your ticket), as pretty much every seating comes with tables, so that you can eat and drink to your hearts’ delight.
  • See a Burlesque strip-tease.
  • See a paper-eating-acrobatic-maniac stand on an enormous pile of books, on a grand piano, and at the same time, play a guitar!
  • Watch a tightrope artist.
  • Watch a magical disappearing act!
  • Come early, hang out with the uniformed doormen, and have your photo taken by the theatre’s professional photographer for only €5.00.

A Justin-Timberlake look-alike who can tap dance, a pretty young woman doing a burlesque strip-tease, gorgeous sexy erotic acrobatic performers who can dance and sing. What’s not to like?

A brilliant show.

Berlin in the 1920's. © Deutsches Plakat Museum im Museum Folkwang, 2012

Berlin in the 1920’s.
© Deutsches Plakat Museum im Museum Folkwang, 2012

WHAT IF SHEER MADNESS ISN’T MY CUP OF TEA?

Not to worry. Berlin is a capital city. There is always more to see, and something else to do. Keep reading my blog. More coming soon!

SHEER MADNESS runs until the 5th of October, 2014 so get your tickets soon!

Tickets for SHEER MADNESS in Berlin are from €24.50 for adults and reduced for children, students, and groups. ShowCafe €27.00 or for families €95.00 for 4 people including tea, coffee and cake! Tickets can be bought online here.

Approximate running time: About 2 hours.

For more information about the show please contact: SHEER MADNESS.

For more information about the venue please contact: Wintergarten Varieté Berlin.

Burlesque Night by Joanne Claxton. Courtesy of fineartamerica.com

Burlesque Night by Joanne Claxton.
Courtesy of fineartamerica.com

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a complimentary ticket, all opinions and the glittering glasses of champagne and fancy beer that I happily drank, are my very own!

August is a new month, I’ll be writing about summer time activities in Berlin, and what to do when you get here.

August will also be the month when I look back on some of the blog awards that I received and which I never got to write about, due to the marvellous, in the moment, lifestyle that I have LOL!

August and September will also bring a few surprises that I’m sure that you’ll love. One of them is the Berlin Music Week Festival which both The Music Producer and I are extremely excited about LOL! The other surprises, you’ll have to wait until the end of August or early September to find out, so stay on my blog!

This city is the bomb!

Are you coming?

Watch this space!

Not far from home. In Berlin. Madness personified!

Not far from home. In Berlin. Madness personified!

On a last note, don’t forget to check out the Commonwealth Games taking place in Glasgow, Scotland. Great things are happening!

David Pereira and Jack Woodhead keeping it together, at Sheer Madness. Photo@ Robert Pater

David Pereira and Jack Woodhead keeping it together, at Sheer Madness. Photo@ Robert Pater

Have you been to a glitzy burlesque show? Would you describe yourself as mad, foolish, or excited? Have you ever had rabies?!

See you in Berlin.

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If you’re going to dance the night away – Do it in Berlin!

 

On the red carpet at Berlin's Night of Fashion, 2014.

On the red carpet at Berlin’s Night of Fashion, 2014.

This really is the last hurrah as Berlin Fashion Week is ultimately over.

For now.

But what a flicker and a bang. Berlin Fashion Week was awesome and although it was a lot of networking and running around, I sure had some fun.

Yeah, baby!

As you know. I’m not a person to shy away from parties and one of the ultimate round ups of Fashion Week are the fashion parties dotted around the city and surely, if you’re going to dance the night away – then do it in Berlin!

I went to a few after-party places with live D.J.’s spinning their discs and live singers from the USA. The venues had give-away booze and a free bar which I really appreciated, after a hard-day n ‘all but they weren’t the real fancy places.

Nope!

The real places that you had to get to. I mean absolutely needed to.

Are below.

Read on:

SO, WHERE DID I GO?

Just look at that space. Imagine clubbing here. It was great! @Kraftwerk Berlin

Just look at that space. Imagine clubbing here. It was great!
@Kraftwerk Berlin

1.  Kraftwerk Berlin was the industrial venue utilized by SHOW&ORDER for their fashion trade show, exhibitions and designs.

Kraftwerk Berlin is a former abandoned heating power station based in the suburb of now-gentrified “Mitte”: A piece of the city’s pre-industrial, Berlin Wall, era of East Berlin. An open gallery of concrete passages that maze into basement vaults and industrial halls, floors, and levels with a unique space volume of a 100 meters in length and a ceiling height of 20 meters, perfect for the Berlin style of clubbing, and now home to that most brilliant of clubs – Tresor.

Americans know a good thing when they see it! The Tresor Movie Premier in Detroit.

Americans know a good thing when they see it!
The Tresor Movie Premier in Detroit.

2.  TRESOR BERLIN was created and founded by Dimitri Hegemann who was looking for a place that would bring together the voice and sound of Berlin of the 90’s.

That’s right: Techno music, Experimental Electronic Music, and House Music – all the music that incidentally, I happen to like (although I also like classical music) !

I came to Berlin when TRESOR was in the previous location of Leipziger Straße.

God, those were the days!!

The club was hard-core and dirty, grimy, and gritty. The walls were old and covered in dust, mud, and sweat, with planks of wood, bricks and rocks scattered about. The crowd was young and recovering from the German re-unification or just wanting to pound out their life frustrations, and the music reflected that in hard industrial-core sound and rough, loud, pounding techno.

It was great!

In 2005, the club closed down due to the prime estate of the region and re-opened at it’s new venue – Kraftwerk Berlin – in 2006.

Belting it out in the rain. BREAD & BUTTER - The Luna Park. Courtesy of @breadandbutter.com (Nils Krüger).

Belting it out in the rain.
BREAD & BUTTER – The Luna Park.
Courtesy of @breadandbutter.com (Nils Krüger).

3.  LUNA PARK via BREAD&BUTTER was kitted out Brazilian style with beautiful samba dancers in skimpy bikinis, and copper-skinned drummers. We were invited to the VIP area at the front of the man-made Copacabana Beach and provided with complimentary mojitos, ice-buckets of water and beer, and a tasty Brazilian / German BBQ fit for a god. Music was supplied by a Danish rock band based in Berlin called Dúné.

It rained quite a bit but the rain didn’t dampen our enthusiasm but I had to leave prematurely as Germany were playing Brazil at the FIFA World Cup and I didn’t want to miss the match. I’m glad that I watched it at home with my family and close friends as Germany thrashed Brazil 7:1!

PREMIUM at the CHALET party in the quirky garden. ©Laura Deschner

PREMIUM at the CHALET party in the quirky garden. ©Laura Deschner

4.  CHALET was the venue of the “by invitation only” PREMIUM PARTY in the artistic suburb of Kreuzberg. That very same suburb that if you recall, I went on an alternative walking tour to.

The party was to start at 21:00 but being Berlin, I arrived at about 22:30. It was a bit difficult to find as it was raining and I had taken a route that included both the mainline train and the underground train and it was getting darker and darker. I don’t do well if it’s dark and I’m in an unfamiliar part of time, dressed up to the nines and carrying a small red handbag! Luckily, I bumped into two British guys so we walked around together and just followed a bunch of random people who were also dressed up. Berliners tend to dress more casually.

Ahem!

Anyway, we finally reached CHALET, went in through the VIP entrance and got our wrists stamped when I realised that I had been there before!

Amazing decor with vintage lamps and armchairs, wallpapers with antique patterns and many small rooms with long corridors. The CHALET club in Berlin. Photos@ Marielle Huey and Carolin Sage

Amazing decor with vintage lamps and armchairs, wallpapers with antique patterns and many small rooms with long corridors.
The CHALET club in Berlin.
Photos@ Marielle Huey and Carolin Sage

It’s a decadent abandoned 150 year-old mansion and in a hip part of Kreuzberg near the river and subsequently, where the cool clubs are. The last time I was there was at a surprise bachelorette / hen night party for a girlfriend of mine and we were all sworn not to research where we were going!

At the time (last year), it was a weird Alice in Wonderland set-up. The only way we could get in was by me being the spokesperson as the other girls were German. (I know. I know!) AND there was a four (4) hour – I kid you not, waiting list. We got in 60 minutes later and that was an effort as we weren’t on the waiting list and there were six (6) of us and we wanted to go in together.  Very worth it though as there were vintage lamps and armchairs, lots of tunnels that you either had to slide or jump into and tiny doors that you had to crawl into to get out. It was crazy, but brilliant.

A weird version of Alice in Wonderland!

A weird version of Alice in Wonderland!

Anyway, I digress.

Oh yes.

CHALET.

On this particular evening, the crowd was heaving in the garden and there was some sort of Roma (I think) band  playing and lots of clicking and “whoopa” in the air, so we joined in. There was an open bar with complimentary champagne, cocktails, red bull, energy drinks, and cocktails.

Can you see me dancing away at the Premium Party at CHALET, Berlin?  @jennifer-fey

Can you see me dancing away at the Premium Party at CHALET, Berlin? @jennifer-fey

It began to rain again and I thought about making my way home when I went into one of the inner rooms in the main building and found house and techno music playing. I could have been having so much more fun!

Did I go home? Er, no!

I got myself a few more drinks and carried on dancing. The music was louder. The crowd was younger. The room was darker. And the music was better.

The cool people at the cool Premium Party at CHALET, Berlin. @jennifer-fey

The cool people at the cool Premium Party at CHALET, Berlin.
@jennifer-fey

Yeeeeees!

By 00:45, I really did have to make my way home as most of the people there would be checking into a hotel but since I actually live in Berlin, I’d have to make my way home by public transport.

Umm. It’s not the weekend which means the last underground train has probably gone.

Taxi it is then.

But I’ve only got €12.00 in my purse.

Credit card perhaps?

It's me again! The Premium Party at CHALET Berlin. @Jennifer Fey.

It’s me again!
The Premium Party at CHALET Berlin.
@Jennifer Fey.

OK. I stepped outside of the club after collecting a lovely white umbrella that the staff of PREMIUM had been handing out and I saw a Fashion Week Mercedes-Benz van outside the club. Now, usually, these vans are for the models and VIP’s but desperate times n’ all that..

“Are you a taxi?”

“No!”

“Can you take me to the station anyway. For free.”

“Yes.”

“I meant, for free.”

“Yes!”

“OK. Stop joking. Can you take me for free. Nada. Zilch.”

“Yes!”

“Are you sure now ‘cos I’ve only got €12.00 in my handbag!”

“Yes, madam!”

“OK then. How far can you actually take me?” “Can you take me to the underground station?” “Actually, can you take me to a station up North as I actually live on the other side of the city?!!”

Fashion Week Berlin. Mercedes-Benz Exclusive-Shuttle-Service

Fashion Week Berlin. Mercedes-Benz Exclusive-Shuttle-Service

The drivers took me to the nearest connecting train station on my route. For free. I was home within 20 minutes and I couldn’t believe how nice they were. A great night.

The last party that I went to was the grand finale and the final hurrah of the Berlin Fashion Week.

I found out about this party at the Decoded Fashion & Premium “by invitation only” networking event. I befriended a Ukranian-Russian bloggers who lives in Hamburg called Julia from jolimentblog.com. She very kindly told me about an important party: Berlin’s Night of Fashion.

Berlin's Night of Fashion, 2014.

Berlin’s Night of Fashion, 2014.

5.  Berlin’s Night of Fashion or BNOF is an event that was created by an agency called after NetWork in 2009 by an exciting, enthusiastic man called Peter Schuler. Berlin’s Night of Fashion is a night where the media, models, photographers, makeup artists, casting agencies, headhunters, fashion individuals, businessmen and sponsors can come together, for a night.

Peter was fantastic, as I Emailed him only 72 hours before the actual night and he was a really good trooper and counted me in. It went so well that I even found myself at Block H. Row 1. Seat Nr. 5.

On the front row!

Right close to the stage where the models come out!

I felt so special and fashion-like.

Wow!

Berlin’s Night of Fashion is in its 9th year and this was the first time that I had ever been to a real catwalk fashion show before, not to talk of the front row.

I mean. Yeaaaaah!

Berlin's Night of Fashion. LIVING FACES and Ernest O. Look. Courtesy of Andrea Speer.

Berlin’s Night of Fashion. LIVING FACES and Ernest O. Look. Courtesy of Andrea Speer.

WHAT WAS THE CATWALK REALLY LIKE?

I was sitting at the front and it was an awesome feeling. I felt as if I were a journalist from the likes of Vogue or Cosmopolitan and I kept thinking I would  see the reflection of Anna Wintour’s sunglasses (American Vogue) or be hushed by Alexandra Shulman (British Vogue)! It must be over-whelming to have so many people looking at you all the time, but you know. I cope.

Oh, you meant the models!

Yes, I suppose it must be over-whelming to…. but they’re fantastically professional so I guess that it’s OK.

Having fun at Berlin's Night of Fashion.

Having fun at Berlin’s Night of Fashion.

The night consisted of the Red Carpet, photography and fashion networking so I milled around, got my photo taken, took others, and generally chatted to one and all. There was musical entertainment and then a catwalk presentation by the fashion houses below and these were my first impressions of my very first catwalk show!

  • STEAMPUNK PRINCESS: A sort of wedding dress theme with lots of feathers, flowers, lace, ruffles and frills. And high heels with a distinct whiff of a “Great Expectations” theme from Charles Dickens. The sexy wardrobe of Miss Havisham before she became completely bonkers. I loved the shoes as most of them were either gold or silver.
  • VAL D’AZUR: Exclusive swimwear that I could quite nicely see myself wearing. One shoulder pieces with chiffon covering bikinis, lace-wool kaftans, and lovely high-heeled sandals and wedges. Some of the designs were quite sexy in a “Game of Thrones” type of way!
  • LIVING FACES: Feathers and tight leggings with Tim Burton type make-up and fashion. Think “Corpse Bride” with black and white feathers, horns and wings. Long hair with elaborate styles, and strong make-up with vivid colours but in a dark, gothic and quirky way.
  • LIVING FACES - Berlin's Night of Fashion. Courtesy of Andrea Speer.

    LIVING FACES – Berlin’s Night of Fashion.
    Courtesy of Andrea Speer.

  • ROCKMÄDCHEN: Black velvet, “Spanish” tartan, black and white checked and patterned dresses or black frills, lace, ruffles and the Spanish coat of arms. Dark brooding looks, long skirts, red lipstick and dark wavy hair. Rock girls. Spanish style!
  • RODAN LEDERDESIGN: An ingenious idea. The designer brought to the catwalk 36 styles of the same design and dress – plain, coloured, leopard print, leather, bold patterns, zebra prints, chains, and even the national World Cup FIFA football colours of Argentina and Germany before we thrashed them too, in an exciting but breathtaking game of Germany 1: Argentina 0.

I had a great time. Thanks so much everyone.

See you in 2015!

With the metal horses at the PREMIUM International Trade Fair Show, Berlin.

With the metal horses at the PREMIUM International Trade Fair Show, Berlin.

This article is not sponsored and even though I received complimentary press passes to all the amazing parties, all opinions, are my very own!

Next week, I will be writing about SHEER MADNESS, and thereafter, now that the weather is sunny and warm, the rather astonishing rivers and lakes of Berlin.

July is going to be a beautiful month outdoor and in.

Watch this space!

The heat and light was burning. And so were my shoes. Smokin'! Berlin's Night of Fashion on the Red Carpet.

The heat and light was burning. And so were my shoes. Smokin’! Berlin’s Night of Fashion on the Red Carpet.

Many thanks once again to SHOW&ORDER, BREAD & BUTTER, PREMIUM International Fashion Trade Fair, Mercedes-Benz Exclusive Shuttle Service, and Berlin’s Night of Fashion. I had a really wonderful time. Thank you so much.

Would you like to go to a club in Berlin? Were you here when electronic and techno music was all the rage?  Have you ever been on the red carpet?

Are you coming for the summer?

See you in Berlin.

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How to be a part of the new fashion set: Berlin Fashion Week 2014/2015!

Hilary Swank at the  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

Hilary Swank at the
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

It’s been a very long week. Yours truely has been running around town like a headless chicken because I went to the Berlin Fashion Week.

Yay!

Last week, I told you that I had obtained press accreditation to go to the five fantastic places that I felt would be an asset to my blog in the realm of life-style as The British Berliner.  As you know, as well as a blogger, I’m also a corporate trainer and that meant changing and moving things around so that I could put my concentration in the right corner. It was hard work, but I made it. I surely wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on such a fantastic opportunity.

Phew!

Miranda Konstantinidou Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.

Miranda Konstantinidou Show – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.

So how did I do it?

In a previous post, I told you how wonderful it was to be an expat in an international, cosmopolitan city such as Berlin, as the opportunities for people like myself, willing and eager to get out there, are so immense.

Yes, but how did you get those elusive press cards?

Well boys and girls. I did the easiest thing in the world.

What’s that then?

I asked.

These bushy beards are going around! Vektor Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015

These bushy beards are going around! Vektor Show – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015

Yep! That’s right. I went to the main website of Berlin Fashion Week, did the research of the places that I wanted to go to, and sent in my application just like others would do. Being that I’m not a professional fashion blogger, and that my blog is still fairly young (less than nine (9) months old), I also enclosed posts that included fashion references, press abilities, writing abilities, and downright sold myself with that picture LOL!

They liked what they saw and sent me the passes. Mostly by post. It’s Germany, so we’ve got to be organised and orderly!

Being that I’m British and I also happen to live in Berlin; didn’t hurt either.

Chatty Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.

Chatty Show – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015.

This is what I did:

Berlin Fashion Week officially started from July 8th – July 13th, 2014, but I began hustling on July 7th! I wanted to get a feel of Fashion Week, so I went to a few showrooms both before, and after work, and I started at places near my home.

The Fashion Set at Superficial. Berlin Fashion Week

The Fashion Set at Superficial. Berlin Fashion Week

I live in a gentrified part of Berlin that has lots of large open spaces and loft-like places, perfect for showing and presenting fashion pieces. I wasn’t convinced about the morning showings but by 21:00, things were rocking.

I went to the after-party event at Superficial – a unisex label founded in 2012 by Anthony Vouardoux and Beck Naylor Showroom at POP UP by Projekt Galerie and stuck around, as they had an American soul singer, models presenting the clothes from the opposite building, and free wine and beer stocked in a tub of ice.

VINTAGEPARROT pre-launch party. Berlin Fashion Week.

VINTAGEPARROT pre-launch party. Berlin Fashion Week.

After that, I went to the VINTAGEPARROT pre-launch party at C O N C E P T S T O R E M , in another part of the gentrified area of “Mitte. ” VINTAGEPARROT is a store that moved from L.A. to New York, then Barcelona, and then finally landed in Berlin. They showcased handpicked vintage pieces from all over to the world, had a live D.J., an open gin/mixer bar, and gin & tonic ice lollies!

Mercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week.

Mercedes-Benz Berlin Fashion Week.

I was still up for some more action, so proceeded to go to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Opening Night event instead. I missed a lot of the action and by the time I got there, people were beginning to wrap up!

The next day on 08.07.14 proper, I attempted to go to as many as my booked fashion showrooms and my legs and time, would take me.

BRIGHT at Berlin Fashion Week.

BRIGHT at Berlin Fashion Week.

I started with the BRIGHT Tradeshow which is an exciting venue for streetwear, trainers (sneakers), music D.J. fashion, and various boardsport, all over Europe. After about an hour, I had “done” everything, spoken to a few British retail companies that I had seen exhibiting their stuff, and then I left the venue feeling daunted, out of my depth, and also, because I was thirsty!

As it was my first point of call, I hadn’t a clue what to do or who to talk to. I just wandered around and poked my head into this and that. Because I wasn’t all that focused and was feeling slightly over-whelmed and lost, I didn’t get the experience here that I should have gotten, which was a shame.

It’ll be better next time. I promise.

Alice's Pig at SHOW&ORDER. Berlin Fashion Week.

Alice’s Pig at SHOW&ORDER. Berlin Fashion Week.

The second place (2nd) was SHOW&ORDER. From the minute I stepped in, this trade fair was friendly and professional, and really did all the could to help me with resources, booklets and material. SHOW&ORDER itself presented 300 high-end brands, promoted new talent, supported a charity “Designed to do good” with the fashion brand: Missgoodlife, an inspiring pop-up store and a “Show&Buy” area for immediate fashion sales, as normally, you can’t actually purchase the fashion  products as they are for the exhibitor, buyer, investor, and media.

Bands of  L.A. at SHOW&ORDER. "Free spirits keepin’ it together." Berlin Fashion Week.

Bands of L.A. at SHOW&ORDER. “Free spirits keepin’ it together.” Berlin Fashion Week.

I also began to find my feet here as I was offered a glass of champagne at the bar, and there were always people to help me when I couldn’t find my way, as the venue was large and hot. I also lost my notebook along with all my notes about who I met and what we talked about, but I soon cheered up LOL!

Eton at PREMIUM. Berlin Fashion Week.

Eton at PREMIUM. Berlin Fashion Week.

The third (3rd) place I went to was a brief pop in at PREMIUM. I had managed to wrangle an exclusive networking event for fashion bloggers and enthusiasts taking place the next day, and so I wanted to just drop in so that I could get the low down. The staff members not only told me where I could get resources from, but they also gave me the invitation card for “a private invitation only” party also taking place the following day, and offered me Prosecco and snacks at the bar.

One of the senior staff members noticed that I was drinking sparkling wine so he threw away “that horrid stuff,” and gave me a glass of champagne instead!

Well, I don’t mind if I do!

BREAD & BUTTER - Urban Base. Berlin Fashion Week. @breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

BREAD & BUTTER – Urban Base. Berlin Fashion Week.
@breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

My fourth (4th) venue was BREAD & BUTTER. BREAD & BUTTER is one of Berlin’s biggest and most known fashion trade fair venues. They were also the very first organisation to look favourably on my blog. BREAD & BUTTER started in Germany, went to Spain and landed back in Germany since 2009. Change is afoot once again. Barcelona (Spain) and Berlin (Germany) are both BREAD & BUTTER‘s hometowns and the ideal metropolises for modern lifestyle and street culture. As a result in 2015, BREAD & BUTTER is going to bring its favorite fashion cities together.

BREAD & BUTTER - Ready for Asia. Berlin Fashion Week. @breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

BREAD & BUTTER – Ready for Asia. Berlin Fashion Week.
@breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

2015 will also mark the first venture of BREAD & BUTTER in Asia. The tradeshow will take place in Seoul, South Korea for the first time from 3rd – 5th  September 2015. It’s going to be amazing.

America anyone?

BREAD & BUTTER - Urban Base. Berlin Fashion Week. @breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

BREAD & BUTTER – Urban Base. Berlin Fashion Week.
@breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

I had a great time at BREAD & BUTTER. There was a press lounge for refreshments and I had a bit of a break, as I had been rushing around all day. I also wanted to end my day here as there were special “Carnival do Brasil” events with Brazilian dancers, food and drink, live music, the big screen showing of the World Cup, as well as fashion business.

Linda Farrow at PREMIUM. Berlin Fashion Week.

Linda Farrow at PREMIUM. Berlin Fashion Week.

On the Third (3rd) day, I went to PREMIUM INTERNATIONAL FASHION TRADE SHOW and spent proper time there at the fashion bloggers Meet-Up and Start-Up launch of a new smart phone App called Style Up! as well as taking the time to look around the international fashion trade show.

Gin cocktails at PREMIUM. Berlin Fashion Week.

Gin cocktails at PREMIUM. Berlin Fashion Week.

I liked what I saw. It’s a huge venue of about seven (7) halls, and very open-spaced, ideal for running through the aisle with a gin cocktail in hand. Funnily enough, gin seemed to be everywhere LOL!

Panorama Berlin. Berlin Fashion Week.

Panorama Berlin. Berlin Fashion Week.

On Thursday, the fourth (4th) day, I went to PANORAMA BERLIN FASHION FAIR. Panorama is in a huge venue and is located there for it’s second year. In fact, it’s the same venue location  where I first learnt about blogging workshops, seminars, and the like.

Back in March.

It’s a bit of a stretch to get to considering the other trade fair venues are “in town,” but the space is marvellous.

MY VERDICT:

Bread & Butter. Berlin Fashion Week. @Breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

Bread & Butter. Berlin Fashion Week.
@Breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

Let me tell you, Berlin Fashion Week was a complete and utter blast. It was tiring, slightly over-whelming, but brilliant and fantastic all over. I loved it.

THINGS TO REMEMBER:

1.  Take some water with you.

2.  Take a notebook and pen and pencil. And don’t lose them like I did!

3.  Take a shoulder bag rather than a backpack. Not only do you look more professional but you can also sling it around a different shoulder when it begins to ache! I used a sling-over shoulder bag popular with European men. In red!

4.  Use the cloakroom to deposit all the merchandise, material, magazines, and samples, that you pick up on a daily basis.

5.  Look for the press lounge and if they serve refreshments, don’t be either too proud or shy, help yourself and eat. You’ll be hungry later!

6.  Take your business cards. And plenty of them. You never know when you might make some contacts and meet some inspiring or important people.

7.  Plan your time. You can’t do everything in a single day so space activities. Fashion Week is what it says on the tin: A week!

We're doing things the Berlin way. Our way! BREAD & BUTTER - Urban Base. Berlin Fashion Week. @breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

We’re doing things the Berlin way. Our way! BREAD & BUTTER – Urban Base. Berlin Fashion Week. @breadandbutter.com (Toni Kretschmer)

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?

Totally!

THE VERY LAST NOTE:

As a last note, isn’t it wonderful that Germany won the FIFA World (English football) Cup? It was marvellous and well deserved. I even had a few tears in my eyes. As an expat, Germany is my new homeland.

I’m really proud of them.

FIFA World Cup Winners: Germany 2014. Hurrah!

FIFA World Cup Winners: Germany 2014. Hurrah! Courtesy of Deutsche Welle.

They. Are. The. Champions. Of the World!!!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received complimentary press passes, all opinions, are my very own!

Next week, I will conclude Berlin Fashion Week writing about Berlin’s Night Of Fashion and the various evening entertainments in this darling city of Berlin.

July is going to be awesome.

Watch this space!

Me. Myself, & I at Berlin Fashion Week

Me. Myself, & I at Berlin Fashion Week

Many thanks once again to all the the people that I spoke to or interviewed along the way, the above Berlin fashion trade fair organisations and venues for accrediting my blog, sharing their passion for fashion, and generally, good old-fashioned, fun and enjoyment that I had, at my very first Berlin Fashion Week.

Would you like to go to Fashion Week? Would you go on a date with Hilary Swank? Do you think Berlin can compete with other world- fashion cities?

Are you coming for the summer?

See you in Berlin.

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