Widly Odd. Bottega Veneta AW21

Daniel Lee‘s autumn-winter 2021 collection for Bottega Veneta, which went public just yesterday, makes me wonder if the designer’s vision for the brand starts to get over-worked and somehow distorted. The collection was presented months ago at Berlin’s Berghain to a handful of house-friends, and as the label ambitiously went Instagram-less, the mist of mystery should have done its magic. But nothing works here, and I feel like nobody paid attention to yesterday’s release. Is the flop-era of “new Bottega” on the horizon? Looking at the hectic garments, Daniel Lee’s latest line-up is ripe with diversions which rather create a sense of inconsistency. The fringed shearling coats that are this collection’s showpieces look odd, but not good-odd, rather cumbersome-odd. Reportedly, the line-up emphasizes couture-level craftsmanship. The brand’s press notes revealed that the glass dresses here take between 135 and 250 hours to complete; a black and white zebra stripe coat, meanwhile, features 4.3 million stitches on an embroidery machine; and each of these colourful outfits have over 4,000 feathers, all hand-embroidered. It sounds spectacular, but in reality it just gets lost in all the noise (or maybe the foggy look-book shots are unfortunate…). The merging of the “fabulous” and the “functional” might be one of the smartest and most satisfying pandemic after-effects on fashion, but this season Lee gets it wrong.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Berlin: MDC Cosmetic Goes Next Door

MDC Cosmetic is the local Berliners’ heaven of all things skincare and beauty. And now, the store has expanded in its Prenzlauer Berg location to a “next door” space. Through constant personal contact with its chic clientele, MDC Cosmetic has grown with the times we live in. The key lesson from 2020 is that in the course of the newly discovered domesticity, a growing demand for beautiful objects, small furnishings, precious accessories and unique jewellery has sprung. MDC Next Door is therefore designed and run as a cabinet of curiosities for objects of everyday use. “At MDC, well-being is at the centre. There are other doors to take in beauty: eyes and touch are equally important to me as the sense of smell or the sensitivity of the skin to touch“, Melanie dal Canton says about her concept for MDC Next Door. Oloid II.2.a, a perfume developed by MDC’s owner in collaboration with Geza Schön, has its own sphere at MDC Next Door, just as the matching bar of soap in the shape of the eponymous oloid. New collaborations by Melanie dal Canton with illustrator Kitty Kahane (fabulous, hand-painted porcelain) and Sabrina Dehoff (off-kilter hair accessories) are presented for the first time at MDC Next Door, too. Another novelty the refined coffee space serving great espresso made from coffee beans from a Mexican plantation that is, to a certain extent, family-owned – but in the sense of the extended family concept cultivated at MDC.

Knaackstraße 26 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Berlin: The Museum of Natural History

Sometimes, I feel like going to a non-fashion and non-art place! The Museum für Naturkunde – Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science – is an integrated research museum within the Leibniz Association. It is one of the most important research institutions worldwide in the areas of biological and geological evolution and biodiversity. As an excellent research museum and innovative communication platform,the institution wants to engage with and influence the scientific and societal discourse about the future of our planet, worldwide. Their vision, strategy and structure make the museum an excellent research museum. Alongside knowledge transfer, the museum’s research and vast collection are the main pillars of its work. The collection is a unique natural and cultural asset, inextricably linked to our research and comprises over 30 million items covering zoology, palaeontology, geology and mineralogy and is of highest scientific and historical importance. The permanent exhibitions together with regular special exhibitions give the public insights into current research at the museum and highlight original research objects. Visitors are encouraged and inspired to find their own route into science and experience ‘Evolution in Action’ rather than following a given pathway.

Invalidenstraße 43 / Berlin

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Berlin: Sprüth Magers

Sprüth Magers has expanded from its roots in Cologne, Germany to become an international gallery dedicated to exhibiting the very best in groundbreaking modern and contemporary art. With galleries located in Berlin Mitte, London’s Mayfair and the Miracle Mile in Los Angeles – as well as an office in Cologne and an outpost in Hong Kong – Sprüth Magers retains close ties with the studios and communities of the German and American artists who form the core of its roster. The gallery emerged amid an extraordinary outburst in contemporary art that took place in Cologne in the early 1980s. Its first iteration as Monika Sprüth Gallery opened in 1983 with an exhibition of paintings by Andreas Schulze and was soon followed by exhibitions of Rosemarie Trockel and Peter Fischli David Weiss. Over the next few years George Condo, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler and Cindy Sherman all showed at the gallery and have continued to do so for the last thirty years. In 2008 the gallery established its flagship space in a former dancehall in Berlin Mitte – not far from the city’s Museum Island. The gallery debuted with Thomas Scheibitz and George Condo. Known for its rigorously curatorial approach to its program and for a deep and enduring devotion to the artists it represents, the gallery has, over the past three decades, fostered close and cooperative relationships with museums and curators worldwide. Meanwhile it continues its tradition of commissioning new scholarship and creating innovative books and publications.

Right now showing in their Berlin gallery: Gilbert & George‘s “The Paradisical Pictures” and George Condo‘s “Linear Expression” – both open to visitors until the 25th of August.

Oranienburger Straße 18 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Berlin: Voo Store

It’s not the first time Voo Store appears on the blog, but it’s truly worth a second mention. The place has changed a lot during the pandemic, and a new energy is present across the racks of Prada corduroy coats and GmbH sexy leathers, and displays filled with Isa Boulder’s knitted bodywear and Ormaie perfumes. Voo Store is a culturally empowered, creatively driven concept space located in the heart of Berlin’s Kreuzberg, occupying a charming 300 square meter courtyard space on the ground floor of a former locksmiths. The street on which the store sits continues to attribute itself to its unique and progressive approach to contemporary fashion. Translating a personal vision of Berlin through a careful selection of local and international designers and products, Voo Store is an exploration in modern design, visual culture and the future of luxury retail. The store’s seasonal presentations are supplemented by a backbone of carryover favourites and classics, with its in-house café, Toki, further complimenting Voo’s retail experience serving a variety of specialty coffee, as well as a selection of fresh-baked goods. Markedly unique, Voo Store continues to set itself apart as a concept by ensuring its selection of innovative fashion, books, magazines and art become possessions for life and serve more the longevity within design as opposed to short-lived trends.

Oranienstraße 24 / Berlin

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.