This was the first time I'd been Berlin Fashion Week - I was nervous and excited.
I'd rented an apartment for the week in Mitte, central and good transport links. A small and compact, one-bedroom place with wifi, just near Rosenthalerplatz - perfect.
After a relatively mild period of weather, the week of Fashion Week was forecast to get fairly cold and it was looking unlikely that temperatures would get above freezing. I'd bought a new pair of snow boots in preparation and was feeling well equipped for whatever lay in store. I wasn't there to make it on to the best-dressed list, so my uniform for the week was a pair of black Acne jeans, a black Pringle polo-top, a black Nicole Fahri jacket, and my snow boots of course.
Most of the Fashion Week events were being held in a giant purpose-built marquee opposite the Brandenburg Gate.
First job was to get my accreditation sorted - as it was the first day there was a short queue, but it was a pretty efficient system. There's always that moment of tension when someone is searching for your name on a list, I was confident that my accreditation had all been approved, but what if I my name isn't on the list? How embarrassing, what would I do? I needn't have worried, I was soon clutching my media pass and a shiny silver goodie bag and making my way into the marquee.
I bustled through the enormous and busy marquee lobby and found my way to the media centre which seemed to be equally manic with journalists fighting for desk space - already everyone was hard at work uploading photos and filing reports.
Then the shows began. It was a pretty intense schedule of nearly 50 shows, with most of the designers featured utilizing the main runway space within the marquee.
- Africa Fashion's Urban Fashion Night - a celebration of the work of the three young designers, featuring live music and performance and some exciting clothes with bold use of colour and earthy textiles;
- The Romanian Designers show - collections presented by three emerging designers including Stephan Pelger who has created some show-stopping bejeweled gowns;
- Patrick Mohr - who presented his collaboration with Reebok in an industrial warehouse in Mitte, clever and challenging;
- Irina Schrotter - a collection almost entirely of black it nevertheless showed creativity in combining structural creations with softer draping. Despite some questionable trousers this collection had a real air of sophistication and confidence;
- Zoe Ona - with Boris Becker in the front row, this was an interesting mix of chunky knits and retro 60s glamour that really worked. Fresh and modern.
- Anne Gorke - inspired by the women of the David Lynch US television series 'Twin Peaks', Gorke's models looked like a young Winona Ryder, or a gaggle of schoolgirls gone bad. An impressive and clearly delivered vision.
It sounds oxymoronic, but covering an event like Fashion Week is hard work. Lessons I've learnt for next time:
- Don't eat too many pretzels;
- Don't drink too much beer;
- Study up on German celebrities;
- Don't try and pass snow boots off as a fashion item.
Fashion Week. Only the strong survive.