29 January 2012

berlin building

Here's another Berlin post for you!  Some of my favourite posts are when I can share my travels, which I wish I could do more often. I really appreciate each time I go away and this recent visit has spurred me on to act slightly like a tourist at the weekends and make the most of what London has to offer, until I can next escape.  Despite the cold and persistent rain, a change of scenery was just what I needed and Susie was the ideal travelling companion (there was never any awkwardness when gazing into our laptop screens simultaneously), with plenty of laughs provided along the way.  Although some parts of Berlin may not necessarily be considered pretty in a traditional sense, there is a certain mismatched charm about the architecture, graffiti and multi-coloured buildings that I couldn't stop photographing.  I think I'm more drawn to imperfections and was envisioning several small projects in my head that may or may not come to fruition.

berlin apartment cafe einstein coffee berlin berlin graffiti berlin archictecture h&m coat a.p.c striped jumper vintage skirt vagabond grace boots tree necklace a.p.c breton
Coat - H&M
Jumper - A.P.C
Skirt - Vintage
Boots - c/o Zalando
Necklace - Pema

I am usually rubbish at packing for trips and usually end up sick of all my clothes within the first 24 hours, but luckily the cold made everything simple, all I wanted was warmth!  The jumper + skirt combination served me well and I thought it was perfectly apt to wear my beloved burgundy skirt that I'd bought during my last trip to Berlin.  I've worn it so much in the past 6 months and I'm really glad I decided to pick something sensible to buy that day.  This is what I wore for a desperately needed brunch at CafĂ© Einstein, which I would never have known about until someone recommended it to us at Bread and Butter.  We didn't get around to taking arty pictures of the food as we were famished but be assured that it was delicious and is well worth a visit if you're planning a trip to the city.

colours berlin vintage kilo colours berlin vintage kilo old papers berlin signs old tools old china old tins cat bag old photo frames vintage polka dot blouses old photographs

I had been hoping to find a few companions to my vintage skirt in some of the charity shops and flea markets, but alas it wasn't meant to be.  The nature of vintage shopping is always a bit uncertain and the stock was so drastically different to my July visit, consisting mainly of scratchy jumpers and heavy coats.  I'm sure I will regret not looking for a bargainous piece of unique outerwear later this year, but I was strictly in Spring/Summer mode, hoping to find some nice pencil skirts or cute blouses to wear.  Despite not finding much in the way of stand-out pieces (luckily I didn't go home empty handed after visiting the Humana store at Frankfurter Tor), I enjoyed having a good old rummage and finally getting to see the Mauerpark flea market on my penultimate day.  As per usual I was drawn to all of the clutter and jumble, including the most perfectly kitsch cat patterned bags, which I'm regretting not buying.  I've been seeing cats on everything recently, I think it's a sign!

berlin graffiti h&m coat angora jumper weekday skirt dr martens topshop polka dot tights weekday skirt
Coat, Jumper - H&M
Skirt - Weekday
Tights - Topshop
Dr Martens - c/o Spartoo

I was determined to make the most of Weekday during this trip, as I always have serious envy when browsing their non-transactional site.  Please hurry up and do a Monki so that I can enjoy the pared down Swedish aesthetic all year round!  I always seem to visit when it's between seasons and there's a serious clearance sale, making me determined to find something that isn't too expensive.  I picked up this schoolgirl styled pleated skirt in my default shade of grey and need to attempt to not look like a ten-year-old girl each time I wear it.  My outfit would have almost been in one colour if it weren't for the black jumper and red Dr Martens!  I also bought this very dramatic dress, which reminds me of something by Complex Geometries and swishes about when I walk like some kind of train. 
kristabel and susie
I'm looking particularly happy after a huge Vietnamese meal and Susie is doing the typical blogger 'gazing into the distance' pose

I'm not sure if I'll be visiting Berlin in January again (my poor toes) but it definitely isn't my last trip there!  I'm determined to resurrect more of my A-Level German and discover some of the areas just outside of the city.  Have you got a favourite European city you like to visit?

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Forward Planning

26 January 2012

fossil wall display

It seems as if my mind is in a constant state of flux, wondering how to incorporate a select few SS12 trends into my already overflowing wardrobe, whilst also coveting the AW12 Pre-Fall collections from afar.  I like to think of it as Trend Multitasking, the art of using and taking ideas from the 'wrong' seasons to incorporate into your life now and making do with the resources we have available at the moment.  You might have the urge to wear a jumper with a grid like pattern as seen at J.W Anderson and Jonathan Saunders, but end up having to compromise with some other garment alluding to this until the High Street kicks into gear (or a canny sample sale arises).  I was prepared for a lot of clothing envy at the AW12 Bread and Butter show in Berlin last week and being drawn to so much that wouldn't be in store for another 6 months and a potentially massive shift in what I might be wanting to wear.  I knew what to expect from my visit last July and since then I've gradually incorporated a few of the brands and trends into my wardrobe.  Despite the rainy weather, I was determined to come back and get a glimpse of what might influence me later in the year (or ten minutes later that evening).

coloured jersey paint splattered table stockman mannequin fossil we are knitters making denim russian dolls old door display coolway

Once again, I was drawn to the merchandising details almost as much as the clothes, with each brand taking the effort to make a layout that reflected their vision for the season.  There were plenty of interactive elements such as a customised luggage tag available at the Fossil area, live knitting demos at the We Are Knitters stand and the chance to get paint-happy on a Mavi t-shirt.  I picked up plenty of lookbooks in order to form some sort of physical inspiration board and have posted a heavily edited version of what I've seen, to keep some sort of element of surprise for when these all go into stores.

happy socks happy socks happy socks spot tights spitfire sunglasses motel rocks denim friis & co jewellery louche cat jumper with glasses saint james breton tops

With regards to clothing and accessories, I was definitely drawn to some of the more exciting colour combinations, especially with the reworked Breton tops seen at Saint James and 90s clashing brights at Motel.  I am now a full converted Happy Socks devotee, who have created the perfect mint polka dot pair of tights and a really exciting range for later in the year.  I also discovered a bit more about the brand Friis and Company, loving everything from their flatform shoes, to their insect inspired jewellery.
bensimon sneakers carin wester shoes cheap monday shoes vagabond shoes vagabond shoes velvet doc martens denim doc martens

As you can see, my preferred shoe styles of choice are pretty consistent with plenty more chunky heels, flatforms and mannish details to keep me amused.  Brands of choice were Carin Wester, Cheap Monday, Dr Martens, Vagabond and surprisingly Bensimon.  I'm not quite a trainer devotee yet (those Isabel Marant sneakers have passed me by, I'm sorry) but I'm definitely welcoming the sheer amount of colour choice when it comes to their footwear.

bread and butter berlin photobooth
Some silly snaps taken in the photobooth with Susie, perfecting the art of the smize

I know that AW12 trends might not have crossed your mind yet, but have you seen anything here that catches your eye that you might want to wear now?  If you want to have a closer look, I've popped a few more pictures on my Facebook page, so comment on anything you like!  I am prepared for a huge influx of brightly patterned socks and flatforms this year!

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21 January 2012

heart cappuccino

Hello from Berlin! I've decided to compile a more timely post than I'm used to full of a few photos I've taken in the last 48 hours. It's not long since I was last here (6 months to be exact) and it's nice to have a familiar feeling about a city away from home and roughly know where I'm going.  I'm out here with Susie and we've had a chilled time so far, with moments including feeling confused by some surreal art by Mark Jenkins, admiring the brands at Bread and Butter and stalking Weekday.  On this visit I'm hoping to get more of a sense of the city itself, staying in a typical bargain apartment in a bohemian neighbourhood and getting local recommendations.  There's no rush to see everything as I can easily come back and I'm hoping that Berlin can become my default European destination if I ever have a few days spare.

owl notebook vintage berlin art
berlin street style
I spotted this amazingly dressed girl in Gestalten; stupidly I didn't ask her name or where any of her clothes were from!  She looked effortlessly cool and I loved the proportions of her outfit.

pepsi crates sonnenallee city cups cat plate knitted blanket

cos bubble knit jumper h&m coat red dr martens cos bubble jumper wishbone necklace red dr martens 
Coat - H&M
Jumper - COS
Tights, shorts, ring - Topshop
Dr Martens - c/o Spartoo shoes
Necklace - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Thanks Susie for the photos!

For someone who thinks about knitwear an awful lot, I don't think I have that many exciting jumpers and cardigans.  I suppose that my degree has made me extremely fussy and critical and I'm forever searching for the perfectly knitted item.  I remember seeing this jumper on numerous street style websites and I was intrigued when it went on sale, even searching throughout four London stores to see it in person.  When I returned home unsuccessful after my mission, I'd found that the style had sold out online and took to checking the site every day for a convenient return.  Roughly two weeks later my patience was rewarded and this bright flash of neon was in my bedroom, ready to be worn.  The colour is certainly an immediate talking point and ticks off one of my resolutions plus the stitch is amazingly uniform.  I hope I can wear it enough to justify the purchase instead of admiring it wistfully in my room.  My newest pair of Dr Martens arrived perfectly broken in and haven't caused me any discomfort at all, which is a welcome change from my other pairs.  I guess they can be classed as the final part of my burgundy collection!

Mark Jenkins photo

I'm hopefully going to find some vintage by the kilo today (luckily I didn't pack too many kilos in my suitcase, in comparison to previous trips), so wish me luck!

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