In case you didn't already know, fashion is kind of a big deal in Berlin.
My days are spent staring, goggle-eyed, at the endless parade of hipsters, high-fashion victims, street punks and obscure subculture reps patrolling the streets. Forget Pinterest - this city is a living, breathing style mood board. As my disposable income now only stretches to cover the occasional Milchkaffee and a slice of cake, regular style-spotting has become my hobby of choice. I might not be able to replace my broken sandals, but I can still indulge my fashion lust without spending a penny.
Ideally you'd come to Berlin, spot these divine style mavens yourself, visit all the cracking independent boutiques and second hand shops littered around , and share a coffee/high five with me whilst you're at it. For those who can't manage a however-many-mile trip to this freakishly fashionable city, I'll be travelling the key U-bahn routes on foot with my trusty baby-friend Ursi, searching out a mixed bag of unspeakably well-dressed Berliners for you to leach inspiration from. Aren't we kind?
Warschauer Strasse S&U Bahnhof - home to punks, hipsters and those with a higher than average tattoo:bare skin ratio. If it's an edgy aestethic you're looking for, this is the place to find it. Anna was our first style spot, and cites old-skool movies, 80's new wave, punk and her ever-changing mood as her daily style-spiration. To me, she pretty much epitomises the rough-around-the-edges urban punk vibe of the area. Check out her spidery knees! How cool?
Schlesisches Tor station is a bit of a club-hub. Underground upside down obscure indie caves, minimal techno boathouses, a floating swimming pool and a dance party underneath a train station can all be found within a 500 metre radius. You'd think with all that night-time carnage that it would be a bit of a shithole, but the leafy streets, pre-war buildings and pavement cafe culture lend it an almost Parisian vibe. Coincidentally, that's where our second style spot Jeanne is from. She's inspired by 1930's music halls, Audrey Hepburn and classic shapes, and her cute pixie crop is making me seriously consider my decision to grow my hair out.
Notorious in Berlin for the proliferation of drug dealers loitering around the station, Goerli was the last place I expected to find this high-fashion duo. Ursi and I caught Ileana and Mikaeala just as they were about to step into a super-chic store, which is great because now I know where they shop and have at least a teeny chance of looking as preened as they do some day. These two mainly draw their inspiration from Dazed and Confused, ID and Love magazines, girls they spot on the street and contemporary art. I especially like how Ileana has matched the little orange beads on her dress with her Nikes - nice.
Aside from being the city's most confusing U-bahnhof, Kotti has been renowned for years as Berlin's punk central. There were no mohawks in sight today, but we scoped out Ayelen and her ridiculously awesome peachy geometric bob as soon as we rounded the corner. Bum bag + side split sarong + quality tattooage = a half witch, half cyberpunk slice of 90's inspired brilliance.
It's around this point that Ursi and I got a bit flustered by the heat and ended up sitting by the canal with a couple of beers and a brotchen. Next week, I'll be continuing my U1 style search between Prinzenstrasse and Gleisdreieck, and hopefully not getting terribly lost in the process.
Betti Baudelaire xxx