This really is the last hurrah as Berlin Fashion Week is ultimately over.
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.
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.
The real places that you had to get to. I mean absolutely needed to.
SO, WHERE DID I GO?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
Anyway, I digress.
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.
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.
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?
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?”
“Can you take me to the station anyway. For free.”
“I meant, for free.”
“OK. Stop joking. Can you take me for free. Nada. Zilch.”
“Are you sure now ‘cos I’ve only got €12.00 in my handbag!”
“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?!!”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
- 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!
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!
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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