How to be an embodiment of urban, provocative cool: Berlin Fashion Week – Autumn/Winter 2016 – PART I!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion campaign - Autumn/Winter 2016 - Natasha Poly.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion campaign – Autumn/Winter 2016 – Natasha Poly.

So basically, yesterday was officially the end of Berlin Fashion Week.

In the winter.

OMG!

You should have seen it. It was snowy and icy, and I was freezing my little socks off.

Yep! I wasn’t even wearing tights (panty-hose). I was wearing pop socks!

And ankle boots!

It seems to be my thing now!

Me, myself & I - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016!
Me, myself & I – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016!

Fashion is synonymous with creativity and business, but in Berlin, fashion isn’t only an economic hum but an art form, that gives Berlin a cultural trump card!

When you think of Berlin, you think art and culture. When you think of art and culture, you think Berlin!

In Berlin, fashion and design labels present themselves with work that can be described as inventive, experimental, expressive and so very urban!

This was my fifth season at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.

The first time I wasn’t actually invited and just sort of bragged and hustled my way through! However, by last summer I was well and truly on my way to being a real press person!

Press documentation for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Press documentation for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

Here are the previous posts:

I was supposed to write Part II, but with all the media attention I was getting myself, I didn’t quite get to it…!

I'm sorry but I look amazing! © Pascale Scerbo Sarro
I’m sorry but I look amazing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Here we go.

Winter is pretty low-keyed in my opinion, so I only received press invitations and passes to fifteen (15) exclusive fashion houses and fashion trade shows, and fourteen (14) after-shows functions and parties. Last summer, I had thirty-five (35) and seventeen (17) respectively. Not too shabby for the “low” season!

WHERE DID I ACTUALLY GO?

After the catwalk, first take a seat! BIKINI - Berlin Fashion Week - Autumn/Winter 2016.
After the catwalk, first take a seat! BIKINI – Berlin Fashion Week – Autumn/Winter 2016.

Being that it’s the autumn/winter edition, the shows and events were a little more low-keyed than if it were the summer, and so yours truly dedicated a mere 2.5 days, rather than the whole week lol!

I actually went to:

  • ANNA GORKE
  • ANJA GOCKEL
  • BRACHMANN 
  • BRIGHT
  • ESTHER PERBANDT
  • FACES MAGAZINE PARTY
  • #FASHIONTECH BERLIN-KONFERENZ
  • GREEN FASHION TOUR THROUGH PRENZLAUERBERG
  • IVANMAN
  • LENA HOSCHEK
  • LNFA TRIPLE LAUNCH
  • PANORAMA
  • POP UP Fashion Berlin
  • PREMIUM
  • SEEK
  • SHOW & ORDER
  • STEINROHNER

Let’s take them one by one shall we!

DAY ONE (1)!

SHOW&ORDER

SHOW&ORDER - Berlin Fashion Week 2016.
SHOW&ORDER – Berlin Fashion Week 2016.

I only had a limited amount of time as it was Monday evening and Fashion Week proper hadn’t started! Nevertheless, I made it work as I so enjoy going there.

SHOW & ORDER is a fashion trade event that combines an exclusive international platform with networking and selective presentation. All iron pipes and slabs of stone. Very rugged. Very Berlin. It’s located in KRAFTWERK; the premises of a former abandoned heating power station and the present day TRESOR club, and has an industrial feel.

SHOW&ORDER - Berlin Fashion Week 2016
SHOW&ORDER – Berlin Fashion Week 2016

Most of the fashion presented were of anoraks, fur capes, hoods, tweeds, flowers and stripes. Along with accessories.

With a space of more than 10,000 square meters, three (3) levels, and more than 250 international brands, including many young talents and new exhibitors, they had three (3) very successful business days, and I always enjoy going there, as the space and vibe is fresh.

PARTY ONE (1)!

A Private Fashion Dinner hosted by SHOW&ORDER and Ten117 at Berlin Fashion Week. If you squint, you can just about see the back of my head, six seats in!
A Private Fashion Dinner hosted by SHOW&ORDER and Ten117 at Berlin Fashion Week. If you squint, you can just about see the back of my head, six seats in!

I then went to an exclusive private fashion dinner organised by SHOW&ORDER and TEN117 as the host of the evening!

I’ve never been to a fashion dinner before so I was pretty chuffed to be invited. We started off with tasteful cocktails at the chats, and networking initiatives, where I found myself hanging out with a real fashion journalist from a local paper – Wolfgang. We then decided to sit together as effectively, we didn’t really know anyone lol!

Drinks at the private dinner hosted by SHOW&ORDER and Ten117 at Berlin Fashion Week.
Drinks at the private dinner hosted by SHOW&ORDER and Ten117 at Berlin Fashion Week.

There were long white tables, with white crockery and silver cutlery. Trays of sliced cold meats, exotic cheese, salad bowls and square baskets of bread. We were also given more cocktails and a variety of lovely bottles of wine. There was also a live singer and band, plus a goodie gift bag to take home. The dinner was really nice and I was very impressed!

DAY TWO (2)!

  • IVANMAN
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

Even though the designer – Ivan Mandzu – is German-Serbian, you can’t deny that the IVANMAN collection is quite English in style, using elements of Saville Row and the Teddy Boys.

Just look at those wonderful bright colours and oversized lapels.

And cheekbones to die for!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

The clothes were colourful and bright in pink, yellow, brown and red. Roller-necked jumpers, up to the neck-buttoned-up shirts. Swinging jackets. Very 1950’s Dandies! Very London! Very Geezer!

  • LENA HOSCHEK
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

The LENA HOSCHEK collection was inspired by Miss Marple and British fashion. In fact, the collection was called “The Brits“ and was dedicated to the confident, modern woman-about-town, with an elegance of British charm and style.

They were in very good company lol!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

The clothes were tweed, wool, rose-print patterns and knitwear. Lots of dark greens, black, silver and russet orange brown. Long wavy hair, fur on the cape and long lapels. It’s not Princess Diana by any means, more the young Queen Elizabeth, but I could quite see myself strolling into my corporate classes with these pieces, quite nicely!

  • PANORAMA
PANORAMA BERLIN - Berlin Fashion Week 2016.
PANORAMA BERLIN – Berlin Fashion Week 2016.

In the early evening, I rushed over to PANORAMA BERLIN.

I really like Panorama as it presents a contemporary array of women’s and men’s collections, shoes and accessories, as well as lifestyle products by market leading brands. This relatively new (2013) European fashion trade fair focuses on a select portfolio of top international fashion brands with business relevance.

With more than 600 collections in a spacious 42,500-square-meter exhibition space, PANORAMA BERLIN is one of the largest and most economically relevant fashion trade show in German-speaking countries. Some 50,000 industry visitors from 96 nations make Panorama Berlin the best-attended fashion trade show in Europe, and thus one of the most important in the world.

PANORAMA BERLIN - Berlin Fashion Week 2016.
PANORAMA BERLIN – Berlin Fashion Week 2016.

I love going there as PANORAMA BERLIN is always nice and friendly.  I always have a fine time chilling with the exhibitors, buyers, and other press hounds, and once the venue is officially closed, the fun really begins!

I hung out at a nice corner of an Italian fashion brand called CASAMODA. They were pretty chilled, nice and friendly, as I basically just walked in and started shaking hands with people lol! I nevertheless, had a chat with Jennifer Kruger – from the Export Dept – who told me that CASAMODA. is a city business lifestyle brand for a variety of men between 30 – 60!

PANORAMA BERLIN - Berlin Fashion Week 2016.
PANORAMA BERLIN – Berlin Fashion Week 2016.

I had a few glasses of champagne, a few bottles of water, some crisps (potato chips) and some pretzel sticks when I heard an English voice, and before you knew it, I was in a circle of English business professionals nattering away!

ESTHER PERBANDT

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

The Berlin designer – Esther Perbandt made her presentation at Radialsystem V. Radialsystem V is a turn-of-the-century 1900’s water pumping station, situated in the urban centre of Berlin, between the suburbs of Friedrichshain, Mitte and Kreuzberg! It’s also a creative space ripe for the art scene in Berlin.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

Esther Perbandt’s collection “Solanum – Nightshadows” is inspired by graphical shapes and light, architecture, cotton and tweed and the colours black, white and grey!

PARTY TWO (2)!

ESTHER PERBANDT AFTERSHOW PARTY

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

Sadly, I wasn’t actually able to attend this after-show party as I had another private engagement to attend to! However, the party was at the Radialsystem V. and the dress code was black and white. I understand that it was open to members of the public as long as they were dressed accordingly, and paid a €5.00 entrance fee.

Esther Perbrandt After -Show Party - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Esther Perbrandt After -Show Party – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

It’s pretty cool to extend fashion week not only to industry people but to members of the public alike. I’ll talk more about that next week!

  • Photo of Mercedes-Benz Fashion campaign Autumn/Winter 2016 featuring Natasha Poly.  ©Jeff Bark.
  • Photos of Ivanman ©John Phillips/Getty Images for IMG.
  • Photos of Lena Hoschek ©Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Lena Hoschek.
  • Photos of Esther Perbandt at Radialsystem V ©Adam Berry/Getty Images for IMG.
  • Photos of BIKINI ©BIKINI
  • Photos ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner.
BIKINI - Berlin Fashion Week - Autumn/Winter 2016.
BIKINI – Berlin Fashion Week – Autumn/Winter 2016.

This article is not sponsored and even though I received complimentary press tickets, all opinions and the various titbits and fashion opinions, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you as I’ve only given you the first two days! I’m splitting this post into two parts. Part I now and Part II in a fortnight (two weeks). If I can!

Watch this space!

Natasha Poly - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin - Autumn/Winter 2016.
Natasha Poly – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin – Autumn/Winter 2016.

Are you brave enough to wear bright yellow, blue and burnt orange or are you into a more serious blend of black and white?

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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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.

If you like this post.

Share it! Tweet it! Like it!

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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