Swedish fashion photographer Camilla Åkrans' work exhibits as part of the ‘Swedish Fashion Goes Berlin’ program
Like its spring-summer counterpart, the winter edition of Berlin Fashion Week (Jan 18-23) includes the customary mélange of trade-fairs, showrooms, opening parties, closing parties, parades, store and label launches. It would have been appropriate to add that the winter edition is accompanied by the winter chill, but this year's weather seems like it will be quite hospitable, appropriate if the hot item is, well, hot-pants.
While tradeshows such as street and urban-wear fair Bread & Butter (Jan 19-21) and IMG’s Premium (Jan 19-21) will again cater to international buyers, the ‘official’ Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin (Jan 19-21), now in its eighth season, hosts all the catwalk action—and it’s happening for the last time at Bebelplatz, with an undisclosed venue relocation planned for 2012.
Beyond the official BFW schedule, numerous side events are taking advantage of the hubbub. These include a profusion of ‘green’ public events, from the green fashion, sustainable lifestyle and culture symposium THEKEY.TO, to Showfloor Berlin’s Green Avantgarde, a series of daily free catwalk events showcasing local green designers such as Mayarosa and Isabell de Hillerin within a former Kreuzberg transformer station.
So while the fashion A-list hit the invite-only parties and parades, a plethora of off-schedule events gives punters a chance to mooch with Berlin’s tastemakers. Hyped German menswear label A Kind of Guise get things started early with their Berlin showroom opening (Tue, Jan 18 @ A Kind of Guise showroom). Swing by for some bubbly and a sneak peek, before hitting the Berlin Fashion Week opening party by Projekt Galerie Showroom and .HBC (Tue, Jan 18 @ .HBC). The festivities feature a window art installation by Italian-born, London-based designer Maria Francesca Pepe, with performances from DJ Kieran Behan, The Arrogant Frogs and more.
To see what fledgling fashion students from international fashion school ESMOD are creating, stop by Showroom der ESMOD – Barocco Code (Jan 19- 21 @ Atrium der Deutschen Bank) where work by first, second and final year students will be showcased. On the same day, GREENshop opens, (Jan 19-21 @ Hotel Adlon Kempinski), proving that bio fashion isn’t just about hippies and hemp. Instead, the shop contains work by 30 international luxury brands committed to delivering high-end design that incorporates sustainable practices. The temporary store is a by-product of GREENshowroom, the trade-fair for ‘exclusive ecological design’.
In Mitte’s vaunted Wood Wood boutique, celebrate the first-ever collaboration between Danish designers Wood Wood and British shoe brand, Pointer, when their ‘Crago’ footwear line is launched—presented exclusively by Frontlineshop.com (Wed Jan 19 @ Wood Wood). A few blocks down the road, the EDGED Showroom & pop-up store opening party (Wed, Jan 19 @ Galerie Torstrasse161) features a designer sale, fashion installation by Mads Dinesen, Judith Thomas and Michael Kampe, and video presentation by kimberit. Whew.
Hosted by the Swedish Institute Stockholm, in cooperation with the Swedish Embassy Berlin, ‘Swedish Fashion Goes Berlin’ celebrates a strong Swedish affinity for Berlin, and Germany’s affinity for Swedish fashion (Fjällräven backpack, anyone?). Heading the line-up is fashion photography from renowned lenser Camilla Åkrans (Thu, Jan 21 @ Gallery Swedish Photography). Also featured are hours of avant-garde Swedish fashion films (Thu, Jan 20 @ Gallery Swedish Photography) highlighting the work of Ann-Sofie Back, Fashion Tale Magazin, Nakkna and more.
Bloggers who failed to apply for the Premium’s Blogger Workshop can instead get their fix at the Fashionbloggercafé (Fri, Jan 21 @ Mein Haus Am See) where coffee, cakes and blogger camaraderie is on offer. Later that evening, join Berlin fashion staple potipoti in their Mitte showroom for the launch of their AW2011/12 collection, ‘Cult’, a theme inspired by pagan mysticism (Fri, Jan 21 @ potipoti). Tanqueray gin cocktails and 200 ‘Cult’ design tote bags will be given away, while potipoti designers Silvia Salvador and Nando Cornejo, have also produced a special Cult shop window for the night in conjunction with designer duo Visual Hunger.
As mentioned, Saturday sees THEKEY.TO deliver a full day of sustainable fashion-lifestyle events to the public (Sat, Jan 22 @ C-Halle). It's only a €5 to gain entry to a green fashion and design trade-fair market, a D.I.Y. fest with upcycling workshops hosted by Berlin-based Kulturlabor Trial&Error and Open Design City, and THEYKEY.TO bootcamp, featuring panel sessions and open discussions about ‘Social Impact on the Fashion Industry’ (11:00) and ‘The Future of the Sustainable Lifestyle (15:00). Hold onto your entry pass, as the ticket also provides entry for THEKEY.TO Conspiracy party (Sat, Jan 22 @ C-Club), taking place just a few doors down from the main event.
Those inspired to revitalise their look can hit up the Wedding Dress Swapping Party (Sun, Jan 23 @ Brunnenstraße 64/65) for a wardrobe upgrade. To participate, either cash in your pre-loved designer duds prior to the event at the venue (Fri, Jan 21 between 12-20:00 or Sat, Jan 22 between 12-18:00) to receive currency tokens for use on the day (this option also attracts a reduced entry cost of €1.50); or pay €3 entry and exchange cash for currency tokens. Of course, the event also includes DJs and drinks, and proceeds will be donated to a neighbourhood charity (as will any leftover garments).
Once you’ve worn yourself to a thread, wind down with some must-see fashion film shorts. Interfilm Berlin presents Shorts Attack! Fashion Fever (Sun, 23 Jan @ Passage Kino), an eclectic line-up of fashion shorts, including Grace Jones’ celebrated Slave to the Rhythm, documentary-maker Jesse Epstein’s critical exploration of fashion industry ideals 34x25x36, and Erin Fetherston’s pied piper inspired celluloid showcase of her AW2009 collection, Birds of a Fether.
Stay tuned for our "Days of Bread & Butter" photo series!