Berlin can amaze you with the best Vietnamese cuisine – but it can also make you fall in love with German’s national pride. Wiener Schitzel, hello! I’ve never been a fan of this specialty, however the one I ate at Borchardt changed my view on this usually unattractive way of meat serving. The Borchardt looks back on a 150 year long history, being one of the oldest restaurants of the German capital. In the past, it supplied the Kaiser in the Wilhelmine era, went on to survive the Second World War and the city’s division by the Berlin Wall – so there is no possible way that this place could have dissapointed. Although you might think that Bochardt smells with antique, it surprisingly looks quite modern thanks to perfect restoration, while the marble pillars and an original Byzantine-style enthrone give this one-of-a-kind spot a spirit which you won’t find anywhere else in Berlin.
Franzosische Straße 47 / Berlin
Rei Kawakubo and Julien d’Ys are a perfect creative couple. She is designing clothes full of intelligent innovation which is in perfect symbiosis with history of fashion. He is the “hair artist” who does mind-blowing head creations. Comme des Garcons for men’s SS16 is an explosive fusion of Louis XVI nostalgia and extravagant modernism. This season, d’Ys created towering neon yellow bouffants, a striking contrast to Kawakubo’s collection of revisited suits – which saw trousers slit down the legs, jackets with their collars removed or silhouette unexpectedly severed, and shirts that hung in tatters. For the hair d’Ys was given free hand by Kawakubo to take the direction he wanted. “I have to have freedom,” he says, speaking after the show. “If somebody said to me ‘OK, I want that’, then I can’t do anything, I can’t! I’m completely frozen because I have to be very free and I have to love the person that I work with.”
The music was so bad, that Anna Wintour run away in the middle of the show, screaming “horrible fashion”. Well. Half that’s true. The music certainly was bad, and the clothes were also not really good… Raf Simons continues the same idea as during his last couture- to show history of fashion changing throughout one show. First we had medival gowns, pilgrim caftans. Then, lady-like skirt-and-tops. At the end, cosmic jumpsuits. Mostly all-white collection, with few drops of red velvet and blue tulle, felt for me not so good. It kind of didn’t have this thing that Raf usually brings to Dior. This modernity of past or how he calls it, starts to be boring. And I still can’t forgive the shoes. They looked to heavy, and destroyed nearly all looks. I don’t want to hate, but this thing doesn’t work on me. Hope Dior is not falling down again…
Virginity, innoncence and forest was on the mind of Valentino designers for AW14. Lots of nudity, motives of feminity, nature, beauty and lightness was present. A patchwork tapestry skirt taken from 17th century Flanders, both original and reworked with gold thread, named in the press notes as ‘The Lady of Shalott’. There were further Pre-Raphaelite vibes seen in the draped tulle gowns, a continuation from last season’s couture, and in a sheer dress embroidered with buttercups and clovers. Using the past to question the future – it happened not once, not twice but three times during this couture week, and it’s no simplistic trend. Haute couture is so rooted to the past and the weight of tradition that it’s natural that designers would want to look at the past to seek progression… and with this strong collection, DACBE ends the Haute Couture week!
It isn’t a something new that fashion is constantly being inspired with art. But oppositely to SS14, which was full of pop-art, the AW14 season was much more darker and… Dutch? Surely, for Rick Owens and Maison Martin Margiela, 15th and 16th century art from the Netherlands was the focus point. Just like in the Dutch portraits, Rick had his models wear in particular the head pieces that reminded me of the Flemish art. The positioning of the models and the heavy, unadorned nature of clothing looked elegant and very nun-like!Hans Holbein the Younger (1498-1543), Detail Darmstadt Madonna, 1528Rick OwensMaster of the 1540s (Netherlandish artist, fl 1541-1551), Portrait of a Woman, 1541Maison Martin MargielaVlaenderbergh, Hans MemlingMaison Martin Margiela