Since we moved to Berlin in 2012, even before, when we were still at the Foreign Service Insitute learning German, I was obsessed by the idea of going to the Fashion week in Berlin. Fashion weeks take place only in New York, London, Paris and Milan, and very recently started in Berlin, so I thought as a fashionista and in the diplomatic circle, maybe it will be more easy for me to have access to the runway shows and see the future collections of renowned German designers. I was wrong! It is as difficult as anywhere else, only professionals are allowed to attend, and by invitations only. By professionals they mean designers, distribution agencies, institutions, retailer, producers and wholesalers. It is not open to private individuals and people without connections to the fashion industry. Like me.
In January 2013, when the winter Fashion Week took place, I decided to explore myself the eventual possibilities of attending the shows (meaning forcing my entry, gently, with a smile, and lot of diplomacy) So I went on the http://www.fashion-week-berlin.com/de/ and spotted the main shows and places where the runway shows were taking place. Of course no way I was able to get even close to the Mercedes Benz tent it was so well guarded. Big Mercedes Limousines, huge fences and TV vans were surrounding the place as if Lagerfeld or Wintour were just stepping out.. Oh well so I turned and tried the showrooms. The showrooms are venues were the designers display their future collections so buyers can choose what they would like to sell in their shops, so for example, Berkinstock would exhibit all its new collection for winter 2014 so KADEWE would pick the colors or models they think they will sell. So I went to one of the venue where it was advertised free fashion designer collection screening, and when I arrived I found myself in the UGGs showroom, and then the 7 for all mankind, it was so much fun! I was able to see the beautiful brand new collection, designs from the future, because they were not available in the stores yet. There was champagne, food and a DJ playing live music. It was fun until someone asked me for my credentials, so I looked around me and realized that I just crashed the place, everybody had tags on them but not me. Anyway, I terribly felt embarrassed and out of place, I found my way out as fast as I could.
But my adventure didn’t stop here, I was finally able to get it right and found places I could go to, with dignity. The places were, still not the Mercedes Benz tent but pop-up stores, where amazing designer’s clothes were sold, and some of them at reduced prices, and I also found free runway shows for D-list designers, or young emerging totally-unknown-unheard-of futuristic designers, but very promising.
Anyway, the story is, this year and through an organisation that I joined lately I got an invitation to a runway show in the one and only Mercedes Benz tent!!! Yes! fianlly! I will be sharing my experience in the coming days so stay tuned.
Meanwhile if you are a fashionista and would like to explore what fashion week in Berlin looks like, just check the website. It is really not all about the tents and the runways. There are many other events going on that you can attend for free and without invitation, just check the website. It will be fun, funky and a wonderful way to kill the greyness of the short days of winter in Berlin.