Berlin Fashion Week: How to be a Berlin Fashionista

Berlin Fashion Week has cemented itself as one of the top 5 fashion sites worldwide alongside Milan, London, and Paris. More than 200,000 visitors grace BFW, attending over 70 fashion shows, some in the frow (front row for those not in the know) some not so lucky.

But unlike Milan and Paris, Berlin is, well what’s a nicer way of saying “grimy”? The city forgoes the usual glitz and glam that other cities opt for and concentrates on areas like street styles, ethical fashion and showcasing up and coming young designers. The high-end haute couture does, of course, get a say but you won’t be seeing any RTW (ready to wear) Fouad Sarkis on these runways.
In honor of Berlin Fashion week, we’ve complied a list of what makes a Berlin fashionista stand out from the crowd.

- Wear black. No matter the occasion, always wear black.

Berlin might be a diverse city in its people, cultures, and foods but one thing that locals and migrant hipsters all agree on is the colored uniform of the city, black. Summer or winter, your wardrobe best be stacked to the brim full of black items of clothing. And we’re talking black black, none of this taupe or onyx, we’re talking black so deep and dark that the Hex code runs out zeros.
But seriously, I’ve come to love and appreciate the versatility of black clothing. Let’s look past the fact that some people look like hordes of hipsters coming at you Walking Dead style and focus on the subdued, simplistic elegance of it all. Black is probably also the one way into Berghain. Chew on that.

- When in doubt, Doc Martens.

So you’ve invested in some vintage looking Levi’s, found an 80’s style sweater but still can’t figure out what to wear on your feet. Don’t over think it. Just reach over for that battered pair of Doc Martens and your outfit is complete.

This shoe is so ubiquitous with the city that I’m actually tempted to buy myself a pair. For convenience! No accusations of conformity here! How else is a stylish fashionista supposed to make their way around the ice-covered streets of Berlin!

- Keep warm (or not) with an oversized/undersized jacket.

This jacket needs to look like your dad owned it, wore the living hell out of it, kept it in the attic of 20 odd years then gave it to you out of pity after seeing the state of your flat-share in Treptower. Ideally, it should puff up on each side after a gust of wind nearly sets you on a flight path to Poland.
Now some of you might be tempted to fork out a fortune for a designer brand that’s made to look vintage but why the hassle? Make your way to Mauerpark flea market (maybe wait till the weather is a bit kinder to all of us) and get yourself a genuine over/undersized jacket from the independent sellers.

If you opt for an undersized jacket just remember the fundamental rule: layers. Berlin weather is unpredictable even to the most fashion follower and it’s better to be cozy than be caught in a spontaneous thunderstorm mid-May wearing a jacket two sizes too small over a mesh vest top.

- Borrow mum’s boyfriend's jeans.

You won’t be stuck for choice here. Are they mum jeans? Are they boyfriend jeans? Are they mum’s boyfriends’ and dad doesn’t know? No one can tell. To top it off, make sure they’re as faded as possible and if the hem is tattered that’s even better. With this look, you want to channel early 90’s rock but with a bootleg slimmer than the size of two children.*
*Berlin Logs is not liable for the kidnapping of any children in aforementioned jeans.

- Top it off with headgear.

Whatever the season, Berlin fashionistas know how to rock great headgear. For guys, the prevailing rule seems to be the tighter the better, think knitted ski cap à la Flea from U2 and floppy fedoras for females.
Forget functionality, the purpose of this hat is to make you look good. More often than not the ski cap will be so tight blood might have some trouble getting to where it needs to be, or the fedora will be so big and floppy you’ll start to seriously consider installing an extendable mirror just to see where you’re going.
Sure hats come in handy in the winter when the icy cold wind feels like it’s knifing your face for no reason at all, but the main purpose of headgear in Berlin is style. The style is everything and there should be no compromise, not even for what you put on your noggin’.

Berlin fashion Week runs from 17-20 January with various events taking place around the city.

By Shoshi Khaddour
Damascus born, London raised, Berlin-based. Shoshi is a journalist with a focus on a range of social and political issues. A former broadcast journalist, her interests include food fairs, films, current affairs and space. She showcases day-to-day Berlin life on her Instagram and Blog.

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