Jean-Antoine Watteau. La Gamme d’Amour.
On a cold sunday morning (13 p.m for yelling out loud), we had a shooting meeting with my friend Katja, to present her new design clothes, a wonderful 3 pieces tuxedo for man, and an incredible skirt, shirt, jacket and more tiny details for woman, all design and sewed by lovely K. What amazing pieces she made! The outfits and the scenery are inspired by the paintings of Watteau and Jean Honore two famous french painters who brought their art in Versailles long time ago. She talks about her work as it is about hedonism, elegance but also sensitivity and cultural behavior. “This is also what my fashion is about even though I don´t just do Rococo imitations when I design.” I truly like it when fashion steps out from the hype superficial meaning to tells its own story. And Katja managed that brilliantly. You can totally feel in her designs, that all along the process of creation, there is a whole inspiration behind it. It was also her idea to make the shooting vivid and florid as a 18th century painting itself.
Enjoy those wonderful pictures shoot by Owen Dakin and find more about Katja’s designs under her website which will be online soon: katjabaldowski.com. I tell you it is only a short summary of what that woman can do!
This is it. Finally, garage goes gay! Hunx and his Punks is the solo project of Hunx from Gravy Train, a mix of real cool sound and such a performance. Some cheesy crazy gimmicks and hot not chicks girls. Trashy, funny and queer, for all garage lovers and finally to all the gays that are fucking fed up with Mercury and George Michael… Yay! Hunx is there. I know from a private source that he loves shrimps crackers by the way. So now you know how to catch him. Thanks to lil and Khan that made me discover it!
Enough talking, the band plays tonite at Cortina Bob Berlin, enjoy the video! Oh my God, hilarious and awesome. Go Go Hunx!
8MM Musik Night presents: 3 Bands from Berlin
“We are extremely honored to present local legends and 8MM Bar stammgäste TARWATER for their first Berlin gig in a year and a half. Furthermore, the fantastic helsinki-berlin band Eagle Boston managed to score some time in between all their different projects to join us once again. The talented and beautiful Zulu Pearls keep it fresh and close to home. First band is on at 10, Hope you can make it!”
Mittwoch 28.4.2010, 21hr @ Bassy 6€
Tonight, the pearls are playing, my baby is getting one year older and I will be djing as Playground Twist with some sixties, synth wave, ass shaker tunes!
Hosted by the Broken Hearts Club crew, the party will take place at the stylish Michel Berger Hotel, the place to be when searching for great design and cool events. “We’ve done a lot of thinking, and now we’ve tied all the nuts and balls together, and are ready to give you your mission: book the dude!
Inside we packed it up with as much Berlin vibes and love as possible and outside there is lots to explore. 119 Rooms in an old factory building, built for Austrian carpenters, Swedish models, English rockstars, Japanese businessmen, German racing car drivers and American dudes.”
A place to see when no need to book a room! Come over party with us!
Copyright Scott Schuman
The so known street photographer Scott Schuman, autor of the famous blog The Sartorialist, will be in town this week! He will moderate a discussion about blogging and fashion tonight at Michelberger Hotel, so don’t miss it and put your best outfit on!
Open to the Public
A moderated discussion on blogging and fashion
Michelberger Hotel, Warschauer Strasse 39 – 40.
7pm to 9pm-ish
Two weeks ago, I went to Pale Blue Eyes, on the Kastanienallee. A very nice shop “full of great clothes from Cheap Monday, Velour, Mini for many, Dr Denim, Resteröds, Refined by Bobbie Burns, Whyszeck. And a collection of selected second-hand clothes handpicked by us in California!” dixit the owners. Damn right! I bought myself one grey slim from the new Cheap Monday’s collection and it’s on my butt since then. Just love it, perfect color, size… I also found a beautifull dress, nice cut and everything but when I tried it on again at home I felt enormous. So it’s not the dress fault but fucking winter that makes you eat like your are pregnant of twins. Anyway, the point was not to talk about my ego issues. Oh, I also took a bootle of Held Vodka, I mean who knows what tomorrow will be made of? I thought that too.
Marcus, Anders and Anna are the lovely owners of the shop, they’ll treat you well all along. Not bothering you like “oh you should try that” (when indeed you should try that on, man). So have a look while you’re around. Last but not least, the new shoes collection from Minimarkets underlabel, Mini for many just look awesome. Oder?! I need to get myself a pair before it’s too late. And guys, you’ll find everything you need to look hot enough for spring. Okay. Almost.
Meeloo” Gfeller and Anna Hellsgård opened the doors to Bongoût shop and gallery in 2008, on the Torstraße, Berlin Mitte. Showcasing original art works, as well as selling books, multiples and prints, the name was inspired by ‘The Cramps” song “You Got Good Taste”. Translating this into French, Meeloo came up with the combination ‘bon goût’. “This space is considered a place where contemporary art meets graphic, underground art, as well as numerous forms of sound and visual cultures. At this point Bongoût transcended into a public platform for dialogue between artists.“
I knew Meeloo’s art from the posters he made for King Khan & The Shrines (I know it is pretty reductive, but I’ve learned better since!). I went to their gallery for the first time last summer, and had a crush on it. This is quite funny, because when walking on Torstr. you pass several galleries, white empty rooms, cold and a bit “yuppie-hey” (know what I mean?). But Bongoût is so different, first, you are not scared to go in, the entry room is full of colors, not like a crowed shop though, with books on the shelves that you can touch and read without a bad look from the employee. Then, you can enter the second room, the proper gallery, where you’ll find a new artist’s exhibition every month. There is no proper relation to all the artists that have the luck to be shown there. They have been chosen because Gfeller and Hellsgård like their art, and be sure those two got good taste. I have met them for a little chat on a winter night, they were tired but kind enough to give me a feedback about the gallery, their art, their work and feeling about the city.
Exhibition: Schöne Neue Welt | Laurent Impeduglia & Kottie Paloma © Bongoût Gallery
Meeloo is French, but spent his childhood in Berlin, while Anna is Swedish. They met in 2001 and spent one year and a half in Bordeaux but didn’t like it so much, so they came back here. And they love it. Meeloo came up with the Bongoût concept in 1995, publishing small books. When the duet started working together, they were more focused on silkscreen books publishing and graphic design for bands, like posters and record covers. They made a bit of money with that and in 2004 they published a series of books presenting different shields of art. The idea was to build a bridge between contemporary art and graphic design. So Bongoût is basically two companies, one focuses on silkscreen books and graphic design, the other being the gallery itself. The whole being a fusion of ideas and collaborations.
© Bongoût Artists Book editions
To them, Berlin has changed, it’s still cheap but not as it was before, and the Berliner dream is quite over. If you want to succeed here, you need to involve yourself, speak german, work with german people. Connect with people living here. It is indeed a hard city, so you need to export yourself. More than half of the work they are doing is demanded by Americans, Asians or Europeans companies, except the posters that are requested by some berliners. Most of the jobs come from Frankfurt, New-York, Paris… When berliners show up, it’s always starting with “we don’t have money”… You got it. They see Berlin as a metropole, like all the big ones with its multicultural component, the positive side of Berlin is that you can start from the scratch, and build a project with a small amount of money. Though, it has to be solid, or you will end up leaving the town quite quickly, cos living of your art, even here, is definitely not easy. When you ask them if there is an “art scene in Berlin”, they will answer by the negative, they don’t believe there is an art scene in a city, it is more a marketing concept. There is not such thing like a Berlin school, or art movement. They are all coming from different places and they are mixing those information with what they found in town. Therefore, they express it with different languages and feelings so it cannot be one voice for all of that.
Meeloo and Anna don’t like to do the same thing twice. It’s important for them to not repeat themselves. The frame of Bongoût is not a movement, or a style but what influences its owners, what they do like, and what they want to share via the gallery. That is why this is not a “regular” art gallery, cos their interests go from illustration, photography, abstract painting, video to underground cinema or music. That’s why some people can be lost and miss the point or the connection to what they see in Bongoût exhibitions. It’s a mix of arts, like you can find it in their Mollusk books. A bunch of things, that represent separately their own pieces of art, where the purpose is the aim and the combination the whole. What matters to them is that the body of work they do makes sense, speaks for itself, rather than having a “style”. The aim of Bongoût is to be complete and free and not to follow the same lines over and over. They are not structured like a formal gallery with a strict agenda. They don’t dig the market to be the new hipsters, they just do what they love and you can feel it all over the place. Bongoût is 15 years old in two months. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag BonGoût!
Torstraße 110, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Opening hours: Tu-Sa, 12 – 7 PM
Contact: info [at] bongout.org
Saturday let’s go to The Bassy Club to support the rock’n'roll business team, Frank Popp and Miss Nico. Those pals host great parties in town, booking some wicked bands and djing altogether. If you’re into garage punk, raw sixties, psyche, freak beat and rhythm&blues don’t think twice, put your leopard on and your go go shoes to look good on the dance-floor. Former residents in Düsseldorf, the duet moved to Berlin not long ago and are more than busy in da city since then. You’ll find out very soon all the good stuffs to come, if your brain can still take it, or not. Who needs a brain? Dot.
Their UK special night tomorrow promises to be a wild one. The Bacchae will open the fest with some glam punk from Leeds, playing the last show of their German tour. And then ladies, suspense, the Horrors will follow on the turntables. Girl, behave they are british gentlemen (?). Since black is the new red (was it the other way round? I might have heard something ’bout khaki)(whatever I’m not a minger) don’t forget eyeliner and glitters.
Plus, let’s have some drinks at the Acht Millimeter Bar before, meanwhile and after two doors below. Great booze, great staff, great DJ! (tourists are not invited) (oh gross. ok you can come, but only if you can behave like the regulars)(not).
Support by Fredovitch OneManBand (French Garage Punk not to be missed!), the all mighty King Khan and Mark Sultan are back in town! From love songs to crazy punk beats, they hold your breath during the whole set, their genuine garage rock is hard to describe, inches of country, taste of blues, it feels like there are five dudes on stage. Personality crisis indeed, you cannot stop moving along and do the crab dance, your brain is turned off and you let the craziness overpower your bones. While Mark is smashing his bass drum and tambourine and scratching his guitar with his Sultan pose, singing along with his crooner voice, King Khan goes totally nuts, molesting his guitar like escaped from a mental institute and howling like a psycho bird. How awesome!
We went to this new Xberg venue* last saturday with Megan and Marina to see The Sun And The Wolf, New Zealand’s dudes based in Berlin: Say Cuzzy Bro! Some stunning psychraw (the words are not from me but do make sense) and definitely not only, the rhythm is real tight and the two guitars ping pong each other playfully and powerfully. They’re able to bring back some stoner feelings in their seventies psychedelic set. Summer of love mixed with modern flair and bitter taste, those pals surely got it. They’ll play at Privat Club – Pücklerstrasse 32, Kreuzberg for the FAVE RAVE Vol.2 and you should bring your butt on it. Maybe if you’re lucky they’ll let you play the tambourine stick. Yay!
The Establishment was fun, since the cops showed up right after the first band played, and we really thought it was over. The second set could not last more than 30 min. Gross. In da place was also a tiny lil red room, classical music running from a nineties ghetto-blaster (?) and a bath tube (seriously), you could hang on there and talk craps, the lights and the music made you feel you were smart (seriously part 2), and beautiful (seriously part 3) and when you pee in the bath tube it turned into gold (?)(but seriously, Phil Collins get out of my body). Well, not sure the place will gonna make it till spring (because of the cops and the neighbors), but the concept wasn’t that bad. Oh, and there were also heart-shaped balloons dancing at the window (no kidding -there was a trick, Peter even found out after some hours staring at them).
* Well, the little square room downstairs was not really what man call venue, since more than 30 min in it made you suffocating (germans again maybe? I really gotta stop this bad jokes or they gonna kick me out the sooner the better). Anyway, the place is nice and the owners are even more.
**I had a thing with brackets today.
Tabea is in Berlin since 2004, originally from the north of Germany. Every time I meet her, I’m raving about her outfit, she got a very cool style, between the twenties and fifties. No expensive items, mostly H&M or Ebay, cos hey? who’s gonna spend millions on a dress that will probably not pass the night, or shoes that will be drowned by the snow? Party girls are no sissies, and we like it like that. I was pretty surprised though, because with basics, she really build her own style. The way she mixes her clothes is unique, and she got the best tattoos ever, they fit her so perfectly it’s like they were born with her. I asked her to pick up her three fav outfits, and you got it! If you’re lucky, you can meet her at the entrance of the 8MM two fridays a months (so better be nice and don’t forget your ID), at the Panorama bar to buy her a drink or, if you got the chance to be epileptic, she will take care of you cos she works as a researcher in a berliner hospital (no I won’t tell you which one, there are enough maniacs in this world).
Dress H&M/Shoes Deichmann/Tattoos Scratchers-Paradise/© Owen Dakin
Sundays in Berlin, specially in February, are pretty much like a black hole if you went out the night before. You wake up at two and it will be night again in no time, need one hour at least to find out first who you are, second what was the night all about, and third, why your legs are black and blue (again). No, it is not an easy life to remember nothing all over again. The walk of shame is on. But you’re pretty much too brain dead to focus on that matter anyway. The difference with Paris is, that in Paris, it’s no fun! You go out at 21h, cos all the bars will close at 2h. You need time to get drunk, and to socialize a bit. Most of the time you’re home around 3, not that bad. You still feel like shit when waking up, but you can see a bit of your day, you can make plans and so on. In Berlin you can’t! I mean, when drunk, at the top of the night, I will be all smooth and making appointment for the day after. “Yes, let’s meet at six, then we grab something to eat and the party is on again!”. Hmm. Well, no. Impossible, I’m not 18 anymore, my body needs at least two days of full recovery (food, crappy movies, and pyjama. Duh. So sexy) to be able to get my brain ready for a full week of work. continue reading…
Jobs and Berlin. That is just the pain in the ass ever. No news about it. But when people tend to complain all the time, I’d like to remind them that the problem is not only the job situation. I mean come on, who is speaking good enough to order a wiener schnitzel with cream and mushrooms? That’s what I thought. Anyway, two things you do need to know when moving up here. If you are an artist, musician, or whatsoever that is related to a self-centered hobby, well, good luck with that. You will find a load of non-german guys to drink with. That will be much fun and you’ll be totally broke in no time. Though, this is quite the place in Europe to shake your butt, and you will find a lot of talented people to work and spread your bitterness with.
Second, you are not an artist. You’re just a basic thing that needs to find a job quickly, cos mommy told you that monthly incomes are the key to your safety. You’re not a kick ass in german, could be worse (see first category), but, seriously, is it possible to talk in german all day with like real sentences? After one year in the city, I can tell you that 10 years won’t be enough to deal alone the ladies from the Bürgeramt.
I was quite lucky. I found a job in not even one month. And dude, what a job. The beginning of my life in orange for a couple of months. It was my first time in a call center. You cannot be much exigent. As good as your resume looks, you don’t speak good enough. So here you are, in this crazy orange open space, craving to be back in Paris and having a real career. AND, you are not even in Berlin, oh my god. You are in Potsdam-ned, it means that it takes you 1h15 of travel twice a day. In the Regional -suburban trains that are so full that you want to die, and it makes you wonder if germans do that on purpose, like an old habit. Anyway, well, then there’s the job, not much else to say. Worst thing ever. But seriously. All the morons are upon you. They got a bunch of words that totally mean nothing, flow-walker-team leader-shift manager. Actually, it is a sociological experiment and the outsiders are definitely in the happy place. At least, you know you’ll be out of it sooner than later. And you certainly don’t want to get a promotion. I stood it 8 months, I don’t know how I managed that. Well, the safety of the pay, plus the no-brain situation. You can show up hungover, living-dead, you can still make your job! How awesome is that. I admit, it makes you go banana, that is for sure. I’m now over it. I’m experiencing another kind of situation. A real job (brain needed), 10 min from home. Still, german offices got their little spicy thing you want to crash your head on the wall. That’s an other story. Also, girls are mean. That is for sure.
Megan Cullen is an australian photographer, living in Berlin since a few months. She shoots randomly, touched by the city and the people that are in it. But she also makes brilliant shootings, following a magical framework that is truly inspiring.
Her latest work is called Nahimana Yepa, featuring the gorgeous french muse Marina Dellamore. Those pictures have been taken in Berlin last week, and you can’t even feel how cold it was that day. Megan invites you into a journey of time and space, surely you do not want to go back.
This is it. We Are Berlin. A subjective feedback from my life in the city. But not only. In here, you will find shootings and weekly agendas, places to go or to avoid, parties to show up and music to discover. A mix of fashion, lifestyle and feelings related to Berlin.
What is the purpose of it? Well, since one year in Berlin, I do feel like a I am belonging to this town. And I love it. You need some time to get along with the recurrent loss in translation and the crazy weather. No, it is not such a cliché to talk about the winter. It is the reason of it all! Depression and moodiness are stuck into your bones for at least four months. And there is nothing you can do about it. We do all feel the same. It’s like sucking up the deeper dark of your soul, and you have to cope with it. We are all craving for spring, and we know it will be worth it.
It’s pretty hard to define precisely the modus operandi of this blog, and I don’t really care. You are welcome to read it, but the purpose of it stays in a personal thinking. There is no fishing for celebrity nor becoming the new hype thing. Being in Berlin is not the easiest life ever, as some might think it is. You do need to turn down your expectations, you do not find the best jobs ever. It is all about cutting corners and be happy with the little things you have. That’s find. But you need something to do that it is also totally you. I did not want to do it all alone. I am happy to collaborate with Megan Cullen and Marina Dellamore, that will be working on shootings, every week, and this is going to be great!