Sunday, January 31, 2010

take the A-TRANE

There are few things you can do on a Saturday night out with the family that involve getting home at 2:30 am. Apparently, hitting Berlin's best jazz club is one of them.

Last night, the A-trane was filled to the brim with jazz lovers anticipating the performance of Torsten Goods, one of Germany's leading young jazz guitarists. Goods can boast an impressive resumée despite his mere 28 years of age. During his studies, which he completed at the renowned New School University in NYC, Goods played with and learned from the likes of John Scofield, Jack Wilkins, Mike Stern, Peter Bernstein, Howard Alden, Frank Vignola and Les Paul. He was the only European finalist in the "Thelonious Monk Jazz Guitar Competition" in Washington (2005) and has performed throughout Europe, Asia and the USA. As one of his biggest musical influences, Torsten Goods names the Grammy Award-winning American jazz musician George Benson, who also inspired Goods to sing along to his songs.

Instead of simply promoting his newest album "1980", the much-acclaimed jazz musician and his band presented a musical potpourri of jazz classics. Despite the dazzling effect that his silky-smooth vocals and virtuosic guitar playing had on the audience, Torsten Goods did not claim the limelight. He left plenty of opportunities for his band members to impress equally as much. The on-stage communication between Goods, Olaf Polziehn (piano), Christian von Kaphengst (bass) and Martijn Vink (drums) further illustrated how good live performances are the product of mutual respect, passion for music and of course, talent.

Surprise guest of the night: the much celebrated German trumpet player Till Brönner. While tickets to one of Brönner's concerts may internationally be priced at $40 or more, it is not uncommon for him to spontaneously stop by the A-trane for an on-stage jam session. Welcome to Berlin, baby!

top- Torsten Goods and band; bottom- surprise guest Till Brönner

Thursday, January 28, 2010

berlin is a snowy mess right now

(image courtesy of gruntpig on

my friend tenzin...

... has an incredibly good taste in music. Every now and then, he sends me links to new music videos on Youtube. And every now and then, I am amazed.

In this particular case, I have to admit I was already a big fan of the Cold War Kids when they released their first album Robbers & Cowards in 2006. Now, the boys are back with their newest EP, Behave Yourself. Thanks to Tenzin, I'm currently hooked on Audience, one of the songs off the record. Not only is it an absolutely catchy tune, the music video is incredible. Enough with the talking - see for yourself:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Michalsky, Lala Berlin and Kaviar Gauche

Fashion Week the 3rd: Friday's Michalsky Style Nite was yet another event which took place outside the Mercedes-Benz tent on Bebelplatz. While Michalsky, Kaviar Gauche and Lala Berlin ranked among the most-hyped shows at the MBBFW in June, this season the three labels deliberately dissociated themselves and pooled together for a breathtaking showcase in the Friedrichstadtpalast.

Naturally, the choice of location allowed for a very extravagant and elaborate runway setup. Impressive audio installations and light effects topped off the spectacle. However, it seems as though Michalsky's futuristic catwalk and the 'human disco ball'-performance preluding Kaviar Gauche's show outshone the actual fashion designs that were presented. Sensory stimulus en masse or just a massive overkill? You decide.

(click on 'HD off' for a better view)

.(images via and

Saturday, January 23, 2010

.HBC Designer Scouts

Berlin Fashion Week
is about much more than just the big white tent on Bebelplatz. In fact, a lot of its charm lies in alternative off-site events, like the .HBC Couture: Designer Scouts runway project.
On Thursday night, the art space/party venue was jam-packed with an eclectic and terribly fashionable crowd of artists, hipsters, journalists and fashion-lovers. In between the three sets of shows, one could enjoy a free drink or two (spotted: unknown woman stashing numerous bottles of Becks beer in her handbag) or mill around and get acquainted with the other guests, which included the likes of Katja Hentschel, Jan Joswig and nearly every fashion blogger I can think of. Amongst the designers who presented their work were Starstyling, JuliaandBend, von Bardonitz, Don't Shoot the Messengers and A.D.Deertz.

As soon as the last model had stepped off the runway, the doors of the former Hungarian culture institute also opened themselves for the general public: party tiiime! I had the pleasure of meeting Gerlinde from Vienna and Julia Stelzner, both journalists and hobby-bloggers themselves. My personal highlight of the evening: getting photographed for an American fashion magazine's "Berlin Streetstyle" story. To top it all off, this morning I discovered a shot of myself and my 80ies-style silver blouse on LesMads, my all-time favourite blog! Oh, what a night...

A couple of shots straight from the runway (yay for front-row seating!):

Sverige i Berlin

After three consecutive days of roaming the snowy streets of Berlin, visiting showrooms, gallery openings, fashion shows and after-show parties, I have found a little bit of time to reboot and recapitulate the hustle and bustle of Berlin Fashion Week.

On the agenda for Day 1: a series of shows at the Showfloor Berlin, themed "eco chic" and exclusively featuring Swedish designers. As with rock music, children's books and cheap furniture, the Swedish are pioneers in eco-friendly and 'sustainable' fashion design. Although I only managed to stay for the first two shows of the night - Matilda Wendelboe and Righteous Fashion - I was pleasantly surprised by what was presented on the runways. Wendelboe and the Malmö-based designer duo behind Righteous Fashion proved that fairtrade and eco-friendly does not have to equal bland cotton dresses or back-to-Woodstock hippie chic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

4 minutes

The following short film was created by students of the Institute of Fashion and Textile Design at the University of the Arts Berlin. It features original designs by students of the university and doubles as an homage to a newly emerging medium: the 'fashion film'. In my humble opinion, this production is a highly aesthetic blend of visual and audio stimuli. Chapeau!

Throughout Berlin Fashion Week, "4 Minutes" will be screened in the Galeries Lafayette (Friedrichstraße 76-78, 10117 Berlin).


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coming Up: Berlin Fashion Week

Come January 20th, the city of Berlin will once again be swarmed by international media, designers, models, celebrities and of course, fashion bloggers. Thaaat's right, it's Berlin Fashion Week!

Unless your name is on the A-list or you know how to crash like Selma Fonseca, scoring an invite to the shows and/or after-parties may prove to be somewhat difficult. But do not resort to your couch to eat Ben&Jerry's and sulk all week long... at least not yet. This is Berlin, after all!

Various cultural establishments are hosting events and parties open to the public that will definitely be worth checking out. During the last Berlin Fashion Week in June 2009, my friends and I managed to see an assortment of shows, hang out in the Campari Design Loft at Alexanderplatz (open bar, anyone?) and visit the showrooms at the Adlon Hotel. Needless to say, nights out that week were more than just a little crazy ;)

Here's your chance to soak up a little Fashion Week-atmosphere for yourself... I proudly present:

La Berlina guide to Fashion Week for non-invitees

Opening Party & Showrooms by ProjektGALERIE
Throughout Fashion Week, the ProjektGALLERIE Berlin is once again hosting a variety of showrooms. Stop by on January 19 for the Vernissage and booklaunch ("My Fashion Diary" by Marc Schumann) or to indulge in a little nightshopping (until 1am). The showrooms are open January 20 - 23, 11:ooh - 20:ooh and will represent the Autumn/Winter 2010 collections of 30 international designers. Located @ HOF96/ Lucas Carrieri Art Gallery. Torstrasse 96, 10119 Berlin.

Edgy Hairfashion meets urban Fashion Wear
Up-and-coming photographers Emir Eralp and Miguel Villalobos have collaborated with stylists from "Sebastian Professional" in a series of shoots. The result is admirable and can be viewed in the Fashion Lounge Café at Collegium Hungaricum. January 20, 10:00h - 19:00h (Fashion Lounge Party on January 21, 18:ooh - 24:00h). Dorotheenstraße 12, 10117 Berlin.

Comme Ci, Comme Ca: Designer Scouts After Show Party
While the actual runway show is invitation-only, anybody that can dazzle the bouncers is invited to attend the after-show party at the .HBC. Just like most parties that go down at said gallery, this event promises to be legen... wait for it... dary! January 21, doors: 23:00h. Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 9, 10179 Berlin.

Fashion in Film: Fashion Week Cinema
2009 was probably the year of fashion-inspired movie releases. I'm thinking The September Issues, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton and Brüno... although I'm not too sure whether the latter actually qualifies. Either way, there's a plethora of amazing movies that revolve around fashion, art and aestheticism. Hollywood productions, documentaries, short films - you name it, the F.C. Magnet is screening it! January 20 - 24, first film of the day usually starts at around 17:00h. Check the online program for more information. Veteranenstraße 26, 10119 Berlin.

Closing Party by ProjektGALERIE
Why must all good things come to an end? While I certainly do not know the answer to that question, I can assure you that the closing party on January 23 at ProjektGALERIE will end Fashion Week with a BANG! The event is co-hosted by the Blind Date Swingers Club (a monthly mix cd exchange) and the .HBC, where it will be taking place. Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for a number of live acts that will blow your mind! Doors at 22:ooh, entrance is €8. Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 9, 10179 Berlin.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009: totally gone GAGA?

Due to the plethora of "2009 in review"-posts that are currently circulating the blogosphere, I decided to cut it short on words for this one and let the images speak for themselves when addressing something that - by all means - couldn't be ignored in 2009: newcomer Lady Gaga and her wardrobe.

Apart from the singer's musical success and the constant rumors regarding her sexuality, Lady Gaga's bold and sometimes bizarre fashion sense repeatedly landed her in the headlines of international media. While many critics proclaimed her to be tasteless and even colleagues may have shaken their heads in disbelief, international designers such as Roberto Verino or Prada listed the young blonde as a big inspiration for their newest designs.

Noticeable about Lady Gaga's choice in wardrobe (apart from the amount of skin revealed) is definitely her predilection for

big shoulders à la Balmain

and the Thierry-inspired 'origami' dresses.

Alongside the tremendous amount of extraordinary dresses (most of which she claims to design and sew on her own), Lady Gaga seems to also own innumerable pairs of oversized sunglasses.
Whether we like it or not: 2009 would not have been the same without Lady Gaga. Who knows, maybe we can expect a whole decade of Gaga-ism?

Ps. Just to be fair - some of Lady Gaga's biggest fashion blunders:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

the new tea experience.

A decade ago, coffee shops were the new up-and-coming thing. Thanks to Starbucks, a Venti Caramel Macchiato to go was all we needed to appear cosmopolitan and en vogue when strolling down the streets. Experts and trendsetters quickly discovered that combining this with a super stressed-out facial expression was the key to looking like the next Mary-Kate Olsen.

But- as we all know, trends come and go. What's hot in one second is cold in the next. And while there is probably not a single neighborhood in Berlin which does not boast a Caras, Balzac, Starbucks or other kind of coffee shop, a new type of establishment is already gaining ground. Why? Because this decade is all about healthy living!

CHAJA - 1st TEA to go recently opened its gates on Oranienburger Straße 27. Located right in the city center, where the streets are always bustling with tourists and locals alike, the CHAJA shop invites you to step inside and revive both body and soul. Forget that lunchtime caffeine-fix and opt for a Bubble-Tea, Matcha Latte or one of the delicious snacks instead. Discover tea in all of its facets, "hot or cold, pure or perfumed, with milk or without - here you'll find the very best teas for every time of day, every mood, and every taste".

Since its official opening on December 6th, CHAJA has been offering a grand opening special: 0,4L Chai Latte for €2,00. Better drop by soon until the offer expires ;)

Saturday, January 2, 2010