by Zoë Noble
Moving to Berlin is (one of) the best thing(s) we’ve ever done, überlin represents the move, and now these two little squares symbolise überlin (they’re the pixelated umlauts that sit above the “u” on our logo). This blog is our memoir, our media, our Meinungen, and has put us in touch with some of the most incredible people we’ve ever met – and are yet to meet. It’s worth celebrating, and we could think of no better way to immortalise it than with indelible ink. Thanks Sarah from AKA Berlin for making it happen!
“Bauhaus air hostess meets Mad Men meets Lego.”
This was the sentence I scrawled on my notebook to describe the designs of Alexandra Kiesel, this year’s winner of the Berlin Fashion Week Designers of Tomorrow award, hosted by none other than the kilt-donning genius Marc Jacobs.
The building-block primary colours, Bauhaus influence, silk fabrics, pillar-box hats, gargantuan jewellery and sheer individuality of each outfit made Kiesel the obvious choice for inclusion in the competition’s Hall of Fame.
As well as the winner, the other designer who stood out for me was Markus Schmidbauer, a radical, artistic Central Saint Martins graduate. His collection, made from industrial fabrics such as acrylic and dominated by black and silver tones, evoked a Gareth Pugh fantasy with a Berlin twist. One to watch.
This award is a great platform for designers striving to get a foot in the proverbial door of the ever-competitive business of fashion design. Judged by global fashion and art experts, the young hopefuls are merited for their creativity, talent, skill and innovation. Use of colour, texture and textiles play a major part in the final decision. It’s refreshing to see a successful designer such as Jacobs supporting fledgling designers with belief, encouragement and advice as they launch their careers.
As Alexandra Kiesel begins to ride the crest of success, it’s good to know that in a studio somewhere in Germany there’s another focused hopeful, painstakingly stitching together her design for tomorrow.
For a glimpse of something more gruesome at the Natural History Museum, check out our photos of the Wet Collection.
The lovely people at Etsy have been kind enough to offer 20 of our readers money off tickets to its first conference, Hello Etsy: A Summit on Small Business and Sustainability. To book your place at the conference with €10 off, simply follow this link and enter this promotion code: uberlin_helloetsy2011
Hello Etsy is billed as a “hands-on gathering for small business owners who want to connect with their peers, learn new skills, and be part of the movement to build sustainable micro-economies.” As Berlin fast establishes itself as the startup capital of Europe, and people continue to flock here to do their own thing, Etsy is providing exactly the kind of support and structure that flakey creative types like us need!
The conference takes place on September 17th and 18th, and features workshops and sessions covering the following areas: The Big Picture, The Product, The Business and The Market. We’re especially looking forward to “Wisdom of Friends – Facebook for Entrepreneurs”, with Gavin Sathianathan, Head of Commerce Partnerships at Zuck’s London office, “Ask your SEO Questions” and “Project Management for Indie Businesses”.
The cherry on the top is the venue: Ewerk, Germany’s oldest preserved commercial powerplant. We got our rave on in this huge industrial space in 2009, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and we’re excited to be going back there. If you’re reading this from outside Germany, Etsy tell me there will be satellite events taking place across Europe and in the US and Canada – check out the Hello Etsy site for more details.
Who the hell are BLITZKIDS mvt? What information is out there about this Berlin-based art/music project is either in German or utterly nonsensical, or both. “Do you remember the time, when people fell in love with an extra-terrestrial?… Have you also been sucked into another dimension whilst sat in your bathtub?” Er… Anyway, the mantra “water, water, a glass of fresh water” suggests that words are nowhere as important to this high-concept pop as images. I’ll just let this super-stylized video for second single “Water” – think Gaga meets Goldfrapp in Gareth Pugh – speak for itself.
The Water EP is out now on Oh! My God It’s Techno Music!; catch them at SO36 on 12th August.
This article originally appeared on Bang Bang Berlin.
I should have sensed it coming when you seemed jealous that you weren’t the centre of attention, that trained performance artist and pop star Casey Spooner *somehow* stole your spotlight. The crowd-surfing – at a dance gig – was a giveaway.
But then when Herr Spooner splashed you with water to get your attention and you responded with a full bottle of water, aimed at one of his five-foot-nothing dancers, that was the final straw. No, sorry, the final straw was the wine glass that followed. Rightfully so, everyone exited the stage, and then Spooner returned to explain why the band – who had travelled from Moscow just to be here – *couldn’t* carry on the show.
Now that it’s all over, far too soon, here’s a reality check. Bottles *do* get thrown at gigs – at hardcore gigs where you would be ground into pulp. But that doesn’t happen at “gigs” like this, thinly-veiled (but expertly-curated) car launches. If you want to be subversive and anti-everything, fuck off down to Kreuzberg to watch some second-hand-punk crap. And if, like the injured dancer said, you aren’t here to see the show – fuck off.
What is wrong with you, Berlin? If your crowds move at all, it’s to abuse the people who have showed up to entertain you. Seriously, fuck off.
On a happier note, you can find photos of the (half)show here.