Fiona Bennett Hat Shop

To adorn a person’s head is probably one of the most intimate pleasures to celebrate one’s visible personality. Next to the thoughts, the eyes, the ears, the mouth and nose, the sensual relation is almost obvious. In contrary to a mask, which hides and transforms the identity of the wearer, a hat reveals the features of the face, embraces the profile and donates the head with regal attention. It’s a signature to the one who dares to decorate their features as well as it offers a moment of intrigue to the observer. Fiona Bennett does all that with her gifted hands and creations. She passionately revolutionises the classic headwear through a subtle balancing act into new dimensions and unusual, but highly poetic shapes. Her mission and true intention is to invent a perfect frame for an individual. Her precious and most significant attribute as a millinery reserves that one will always recognize the beauty of the wearer first, then, by a second glance, the beauty and art of the millinery. As outrageously visionairy and exquisitly designed her charming creations might be, they never overwhelm or dominate the face underneath. That’s the magic of Fiona and her beautiful boutique-studio in Berlin. For the gorgeous dames, non-chalant mad-hatters and not only.

Potsdamer Straße 81-83 / Berlin

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Berlin, When It’s Cold

Berlin, when it’s cold? I say: yes. The city is a perfect destination for weekend visiting in any season. So, even when it’s winter and the temperature drops below zero, you’re more than welcome to visit the Turkish market in Kreuzberg, discover new coffee spots (or rather, new to you, but well known for the locals) or simply, go to a museum. Scroll on!

AnneliesGörlitzer Str. 68

The quintessence of a Berliner brunch spot – raw, yet cozy interior, delicious pastries, perfect lighting.

Turkish MarketMaybachufer

Fresh pomegranates, mangos, coriander and lemons in February? Those market stalls got you covered.

Berggruen MuseumSchloßstraße 1

The Berggruen Museum is a collection of modern art classics, which the collector and dealer Heinz Berggruen, in a “gesture of reconciliation”, gave to his native city. The most notable artists on display include Pablo Picasso (some of the rarest works out there), Alberto Giacometti, Georges Braque, Paul Klee and Henri Matisse. A true, visual feast.

Rosa WolfEberswalder Str. 32

Rosa Wolf is a shop filled with independent magazines, carefully selected from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for reading material about fashion, art, culture, travel, architecture or design, you will find it at their place in Prenzlauer Berg.

The Store x Soho House Berlin / Torstraße 1

An ever-changing space created to inspire, create, work and enjoy – and most of all, to shake-up the stereotype of how a fashion retail place should look like. Located in the Soho Haus Berlin hotel, The Store makes you feel like at home, with its beautifully curated furniture (from chic Pierre Jeanneret seats to Mathieu Matégot heart shaped-patio set) and a connoisseur-level book selection, coming straight from London’s cult Idea Books. Moreover, The Store is Berlin‘s fashion destination, with its heaving hangers of Vetements, The Row, Aries, Calvin Klein, Wales Bonner and others.

The Potsdammer Straße ‘trio’:

Andreas Murkudis / Potsdammer Straße 81

Fiona Bennett / Potsdammer Straße 81-83

Acne Studios / Potsdammer Straße 87

SasayaLychener Str. 50

Sasaya is the best Japanese restaurant in Berlin. It’s just so pure in taste, and so Japanese in everything, from the simple interior to the way the asparagus tempura is served on ceramics plates (which are sold together with delightful pottery and rare sake next to the restaurant space). Sasaya doesn’t only serve sushi – which is perfect – but as well other traditional dishes and tastes like the tsukemono (pickled vegetables), the takana (fried vegetables), dashi broth or the kukiwakame (seaweed). The gyoza stick is a great addition to your portion of maki and nigiri, while green tea cake with matcha macchiato is an ideal desert (at least for me!).

Superbazaro / Mulackstraße 1

Italian (and not only) gourmet food and wines with selected, chic kitchenware. By Mitte’s favourite Mädchenitalianer restaurant nearby, which serves some delightful, home-made Italian cusine.

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All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Fiona Bennett’s Panama

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Not owning a panama hat this summer is like being absolutely unaware of the invasive Jane-Birkin-style basket importance. Are you still looking for the right straw hat to fit the upcoming sunny days? The Berlin-based milliner, Fiona Bennett, might have what you’re looking for. The hats coming from her ‘One World’ capsule are hand-woven with traditional techniques in a village in the Bolgatanga region in Ghana. The used straw is from local abundant kinkanhe (Veta Vera) grass and its coloured with natural dyes. Fiona’s website has more than two pages of different silhouettes fitting various head-types, so don’t hesitate to check them out (or visit her studio-slash-boutique, if you’re in the German capital).

Potsdammer Straße 81-83 / Berlin

July in Berlin

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What’s better than spending a rainy July day on visiting your favourite Berlin spots? Going for the sale-season triathlon? Discovering new designers? Induldging yo’self in tuna tataki? I think nothing can beat those…

Few days ago, The Store and Berlin-based label Ottolinger launched an exclusive collection of tie-dyed t-shirts and sweatshirts in all tones of rusty-brown, illustrated by the brand’s friend and collaborator @ruffiodoom (Instagram nickname). Also, the paint-covered accessories caught my eye – choose between the customized Nike AF1 sneakers and the tiny-miney hand-bags with souvenir charms (you know, the tourist ones, like the ‘I love Italy’ trash) attached. One-off DIY feeling of Ottolinger is Christa Bösch’s and Cosima Gadient’s signature style, perfectly fitting Berlin’s current creative energy.

Torstraße 1 (enter through Soho House Hotel). More about The Store here.

Fiona Bennett‘s store is both a beautifully lit display of the brand’s headwear and an atelier filled with local petites mains of millinery. We were all considering one of those summer-y straw Panama hats, the house’s new addition…

Potsdamer Straße 81-83

Sticks ‘n’ Sushi is a brand new spot which explores Japanese cuisine in a modern, but quite relaxed way. From delightful sushi with wagyu and a wide selection of sashimi to bowls of edaname and signature ‘Emotion’ set, the place is the right choice for a quick-lunch. The industrial interior à la former warehouse with spacious interior makes it super appealing.

Potsdamer Straße 85

Andreas Murkudis is a must-go whenever I visit the city. This time, my favourite  concept store invites you to experience the Birkenstock Box. The travelling ‘retail experiment’ in Murkudis’ courtyard will stay there till 22nd of July. It offers slightly revamped Birkenstock sandals, created exclusively for Andreas Murkudis  If you’re not really into cult orthopedic sandals, and a massive Céline sale doesn’t excite you (ok, that’s creepy), then you will surely fall in love with the massive installation by Kostas Murkudis – a line of satin dresses hanging down the ceiling, forming a rainbow colour palette. Looks very, very impressive.

Potsdamer Straße 81e

See you in Berlin!

Berlin: Weekend Places

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Berlin is a perfect city to be checked out on the weekends. And as I am visiting Berlin pretty often, I really know it well! The paper-shops, boutiques, ateliers… all of them seem to be so unique and one-of-a-kind. Here are my new (and old) favourite places I truly enjoy while staying in Berlin.

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Bikini – department stores usually make think of Kadewe, Lafayette etc. So, the huge, mass-friendly buildings with EVERYTHING. But Bikini is a totally new retail experience. With some seriously cool concept stores inside, you can find here great furniture, perfumes and clothes by Berlin-based designers.

Budapester Straße 38-50

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ODEEH – every Berlin fashionista loves ODEEH, the German label. Although the brand calls itself affordable, the price point is similar to Marni… but the dresses and printed tops are eye-catchy with their bold twist.

Located in Bikini 

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Papier in Mitte / R.S.V.P. – my favourite paper-shop in the entire world. Hidden in Mitte district, Papier sells unique “made in Korea” notebooks, sketchbooks, pads, postcards and other ultra necessary articles. In reality, I could stay here for a day, or two.

Mulackstraße 14

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Holly – are you a 60’s & 70’s fashion lover? This place is right for you. At Holly, they are supplied with incredible men’s selection.

Alte Schönhauser Straße 4

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FIona Bennett Atelier – Fiona is a master of hat-making. Her hats are real pieces of art, whether they are more simple or more eccentric. I am in love with them although I always prefer a beanie on my head.

Potsdamer Straße 81

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Andreas Murkudis – Right, I know, I am posting too much about Andreas Murkudis. But my heart belongs to this concept store. I am constantly obsessed with their curated objects, cosmetics, leather goods and of course clothes. And when they have a sale season, it’s really worth a visit.

Potsdamer Straße 81E

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Vivienne Westwood – last but not the least. Vivienne’s store. The punk spirit is addictive. The store itself is like a museum full of art. And, you can’t really take pictures inside. But their outlet space overcompensates everything.

Mulackstraße 26