A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
OK guys, I’m finally back from skiing. I was actually ill whilst I was in the Czech Republic, but that was no fault of theirs. In fact, everybody rallied around to make sure that I got better. More of that next week!
Last week, I wrote about Berlin Fashion Week.
Let’s be honest. One of the reasons that people swarm over to Berlin like bees flying to a sticky honeypot, is because of the constant jollification! Oh yeah! Berlin knows how to paaaarty, and Berlin Fashion Week was absolutely no exception. In fact, it was far much better….!
The fact that I had various press passes ensured that many doors were open to me and boy, did I use my privileges!
I went to so many parties that I actually turned some down! I was knackered and had drunk far too much champagne. It was time for a detox as I just couldn’t take the high life any more. The next day, I had no alcohol. NO ALCOHOL! The day after, I had a glass of champagne. Only A GLASS! And the day after that, I had a glass of champagne at a fashion event, and a lemon beer. A LEMON BEER people. OMG!
WHAT THE HELL DID I DO???
The first party that I went to was at Bread&Butter. Bread&Butter is a huge denim-focused urban street wear fair that was located at the biggest airport in the world – Tempelhof. In fact, every time you watch a film about pre-1945 Germany, and there’s a huge airport involved, it’s that one.
It was closed a few years ago because of the speculation that it’s in the middle of the city and therefore dangerous to all…! As result, Bread&Butter making Berlin it’s headquarters was welcomed until last summer when bankruptcy was whispered.
Bread&Butter really didn’t know whether they were coming or going and in early December had cancelled participation at Berlin Fashion Week for 2015! After much support by local Berliners and a number of lawyers, by mid-Decemeber, they were back with a new concept: “BREAD&BUTTER – BACK TO THE STREET.”
Please remember that when Germans say “back to the street” although you may be thinking of hard-core New York, Germans are thinking of Berlin trendy locations. You may be thinking of deprived neighbourhoods, Germans are thinking of gentrification. You may be thinking “I don’t want to go there,” Germans are pushing and shoving to get an invite!
As such, an Email was sent to me informing me that BREAD&BUTER was going to host a “guerrilla” trade show at ‘The Blue Yard’ in the heart of Berlin – a suburb called “Mitte” for trade visitors and press representatives.
I’m a press representative so I hopped along to see what they had for us.
My goodness. It was only 18:00 and “The Blue Yard” was pumping. There were live DJ’s and live musicians, and the crowd was spilling out into the rainy Berlin trendy streets. Oh yeah, it was raining but some trade fair venues were handing out umbrellas so I had this huge piece of equipment trailing with me, wherever I went….!
I wandered around some of the very lovely shops and pop-ups and bumped into a couple of cool-looking Americans, some dainty Dutch people, and some young over-whelmed German entrepreneurs.
Fridges were all over the venue and you just helped yourself to some beers or water. The beer – Heineken! Oh dear. I had a few sips and quickly abandoned it.
There was a tent for refreshments so I had some currywurst, chips (fries), and a bun. You all know how much I like currywurst! Within the inner core of a denim store was a gin & tonic bar and gin & tonic lollipops! Strictly adults only of course. I had a quick chat with them as they recognised me from last season!
I couldn’t really spend too much time there as I had an appointment to go to BIKINI as I’m always interested in supporting young German talent.
I’d never been there before but I’d seen Bikini’s billboards all over West Berlin. I got there about 20:00 and of course, the main building was closed to the public but not to participants of Berlin Fashion Week, and definitely to press individuals.
I managed to catch them at the end of their presentation, and mingle. I also managed to nibble on their truffle titbits and drink their wine. They ran out of glasses and cups so rushed around to find me one and explained their concept of combining truffles and wine as a Southern France family business overseeing a pop-up restaurant service in Berlin. They are called Truffle & Wine Berlin by Chez Serge.
I must say that their titbits were delicious but I had to leave for my next engagement, so they gave me a bottle of French wine to take home with me. Thanks guys!
Last week, I told you a little about PANORAMA Berlin Fashion Fair. PANORAMA presents contemporary fashion, shoes, accessories and lifestyle articles. Not only that, but they always have really cool parties going on. Last season, I went to the PREMIUM party of the week, this season, I went to Panorama’s.
The Panorama Berlin Party took place at a club called Watergate in the trendy suburb of Kreuzberg. It was “invitation only.”
On the outside, the club looked pretty dingy but on the inside, it was packed with hipsters, rockers, and the fashion set. Watergate has two floors and through the wide floor-to-ceiling windows you could see the river. Known for its LED lighting panel that spans the entire length of the top floor of the club, Watergate mostly plays house and techno music.
Just what I like!
I huddled up with a group of gay guys who were lovely, sexy, and ready to mingle, while flirting with every hipster boy that came by. It was also an open bar.
Open bars are fabulous but can be killers especially if you’re drinking gin & tonic, standing right in front of the live DJ, twirling around, and surrounded by guys who could actually dance! I got there about 22:30 and by midnight, I’d had enough. I’m not 21 years old any more. I cannot dance all night long anymore.
A few hours, and I’m done!
It’s a little sad ‘cos when I was actually 21, I could party like the best of them non-stop. And why not? I was young, I was at university, and I wasn’t broke.
The next step was to get a taxi home.
If I could find one.
The streets were swarming with pretty fashion people, and the grungy Berlin set.
My new gay friends flagged me down a taxi and I can’t tell you how much I tipped the taxi driver, as I can’t remember!
I blame the hot dog that I told you about last week! Suffice to say, my umbrella and I got home safely!
After that, it was serious fashion business.
And Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin or MBFWB ?
Well, it was fantastic. Again, I felt really honoured that Mercedes-Benz had given my blog and I, the green light. Thank you! Here we go:
MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK BERLIN or MBFWB:
I’d never been there before so I was really impressed by the location which was right outside the famously renowned Berlin landmark – Brandenburg Gate. There was a huge amount of security but once you had shown your pass or invitation, everything calmed down.
There was a huge lounge and it was filled with the latest Mercedes-Benz car, there was a “for camera/TV” make-up & nail section sponsored by Maybelline, which I desperately wanted to go to, but the queues were too long and I didn’t want to miss the fashion shows. There was also a “design-your-own” little booklet sponsored by Herlitz, a “green” bag and on-the-spot artistically drawn box sponsored by Fashion I.D. and Peek & Cloppenburg. I took the bag but couldn’t wait for the box due again, to the queues. At each fashion show, there was a goodie-bag of sort filled with hairspray, socks, nail varnish, creams, chocolate, bracelets, little booklets, discount on designer labels, a winter-pack, etc. Very, very nice.
There was also champagne and water sponsored by Jules & Mmm.
I had lots of water.
There was a dedicated press lounge for live tweeting, FB, and media posts. Very handy and welcome for re-charging batteries and checking on some of my pictures.
Last season was the first time that I had ever seen a real catwalk show and I was on the front row! At MBFWB, I was to get closer. Much closer. In fact, if you look on the right-hand side of the photo below, you can actually see my red handbag on the floor and my hand on a pale green iPhone!
On the last day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, I went to the creme de la creme of Berlin Fashion Week – Marina Hoermanseder.
I tried and tried to get a ticket. But no can do.
I hung around.
I pestered the organisers.
They tried to help and asked me to wait around.
There was a queue of 50 people also waiting around. At 3 minutes before the show was to start, the organisers declared the ticket booth closed!
Oh no! I had to be there.
What should I do?
The girls around me gave up and went home.
I decided to go to the runaway entrance and if I wasn’t sent away, I would just walk in.
With much bravado, I got in.
I didn’t have a ticket so I figured the best place to actually get a seat was in the front row! So to the front row I went. Again!
They were all sort of Tim Burton-like, high-waisted trousers, leather tops, fur capes and stoles, double waisted belts, and lots of leather studs. Colours were bright reds, electric blues, light grey. Lots of plastic and leather. Everyone was very excited!
Last but not least, was Berlin’s Night of Fashion.
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.
It was freezing and snowing so I arrived fashionably late, but in time for the red carpet photo-shoot and a bottle of Shandy. I needed to take it easy as I had a 50th birthday party to attend later that night, and I wanted to remain upright!
There were screens all around depicting the fashion model castings, rehearsals, make-up, and clips of last summer. I even saw myself on-screen swanning around LOL!
Berlin’s Night of Fashion is in its 10th year and this was the second (2nd) time that I was attending.
It was an enjoyable fun night.
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!
I had a wonderful time. Thanks so much everyone.
Many thanks once again to BREAD & BUTTER, BIKINI BERLIN, PANORAMA Berlin Fashion Fair, SHOW & ORDER, BRIGHT, SEEK, PREMIUM, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin, Berlin Fashion Week, and Berlin’s Night of Fashion.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin stills by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images for IMG, Frazier Harrison/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz, Jean Pollex/Getty Images for IMG, Ian Gavin/Getty Images for Use/Unused, Andreas Rentz/Getty Images for IMG, and Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for IMG.
This article is not sponsored and even though I received complimentary press tickets, all opinions and the various refreshments and Gin & Tonic, are my very own!
I have so much to share with you.
Next week, I will tell you what skiing is like in the Czech Republic and how to travel there using only public transport! You can check some of the tweets and pictures daily on Twitter & FB!
Some time in February, I will be at the Wintergarten Varieté where illusion replaces reality – for their latest production THE MAGICAL MYSTERY SHOW otherwise known as “The Show of the Magician.“
The 65th Berlin International Film Festival – The Berlinale – will be taking place from 05.02.15 – 15.02.15.
Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night is going to take place on 25.02.15 at the Quatsch Comedy Club in Berlin.
I’ll be participating in the pre-ITB Travel Massive event on 03.03.15. If you’re a blogger or just fancy a knees-up, come meet us. It’s going to be so much fun!
The actual International Travel Trade Fair – ITB – will be taking place from 04.03.15 – 08.03. 15.
If you’re not in Berlin in February, where else are you going to be?
February is going to be exhilarating!
Watch this space!
Do you think Berlin is at par with London or Paris? Would you like to have a jolly good time in Berlin? How would you do it?
See you in Berlin.
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I am always so amazed at how much you are able to do in Berlin! And remember for writing about later! Do you take notes when you go to these events? I always feel like I forget half of everyone I see. 🙂
Thanks Jenny! Me too! I’m constantly busy…! How do I remember everything? I always have a little notebook with me for jotting things down about what I saw and how I felt at the time, which is why you can “hear” my voice quite clearly when I write LOL! If I’m on an outdoor thing, I take photos so that I can remember exactly where I went and what I saw. I also have a pretty good memory of what people say. In German & in English!
That’s awesome! I need to start carrying a notebook
And an IKEA pencil as they’re smaller and easier to put in one’s handbag LOL!
You look marvelous Miss busy bee! What a whirlwind week it sounds like. I don’t know any of these names, but some of the clothes are really nice. Glad you got to experience the privileges of a press pass. Good for you! Kudos for scoring the front seat at the last show :-).
Thanks so much kemkem! It certainly was whirlwind so much so that I’m thinking of taking a few days off in the summer season LOL! Honestly, living in Berlin has opned so many doors for me. Cooooooome baaaaack! 🙂
Seems like one hell of a party!
It really was Anna. I’m not joking when I say that Berliners know how it’s done LOL!
I love this way of exploring the city in a very glamorous way!! Fantastic!
Thank you Agness. We do our best LOL! 🙂
WOW So much fun! So much so you had to detox for a day! lol. Umm-Patirce-Nice! I love the creativity that goes into these fashion fashions although maybe only half of the clothes are wearable! Lol You have indpired me to finally try and got to New York Fashion week. it has been on my bucket list for quite some time! I hope you are fully recovered from being sick. To be on vacation and in a cold weather place sick is no fun!
Thank you Sophie! Yeah, detoxing is good for you….! I know that Fashion Week really showcases fantasy clothing, but isn’t that the point though – creativity & flair – and the High Streets re-create those inventions to make them “wearable!” It’s great seeing the madness live firsthand. You should definitely go for it in New<York if you get the chance. I hear that it’s incredibly mad! 🙂 🙂
P.S. Thanks for the lovely thoughts, I’m much better now but it was painful not being able to ski…! 🙁
Love the post! Now I’m not a particularly fashion conscious guy (although there is a certain attraction to a leather corset…) so the bit I picked up on most was your love of a good CURRY wurst.. Me too! When I lived in Berlin I used to scoff ’em for breakfast! Invented by a Brit after the war… ( or did I learn that from an earlier post from you…?)
Thank you so much Thomas! The leather corset attracted everyone’s attention which I think was quite the intention LOL! Did I know that you used to live in Berlin? I can’t remember. I don’t think so! When were you here, why, and when did you leave?
P.S. Indeed, currywurst was invented by a Berlin lady for British soldiers, who gave her the ingredients after WWII, and the rest is history!
So you mixed travel with Parties and Fashion Week. It must have been awesome experience. We did visit a few fashion shows in Paris in end September last year and we liked meeting new people this way.
Absolutely Pooja! I’m a lifestyle travel blogger ao it’s much easier to go from one category to the other and it’s much harder work as you’re always on the go LOL!
Berlin Fashion Week was incredible and Paris must have been astounding. I mean, Paaaaaris and fashion. Wow!
Thanks so much Pooja. 🙂
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