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Berlin’s Bread & Butter Show: A Parlour Visit

Bread and Butter is not your average fashion tradeshow, it’s a legend. Since it’s introduction10 years  ago, it has grown to be the mecca for brands, labels and designers of contemporary and street fashion. It is the most important trade fair of it’s kind, attracting labels both big and small to debut their latest collections and although the intention of the tradeshow is business, the atmosphere is pure pleasure. Berlin provides the perfect location for this marriage of fun and fashion, inviting buyers, retailers and press representatives from all over Europe and beyond. The three-day event kicked off with a grand opening concert with international acts including Mos Def.

This year was the 10th anniversary of the tradeshow, so one can only imagine the atmosphere in the 1,200 meter long Templehof Airport. Due to the major milestone, the booths were bigger and sexier than ever, some exhibitors spent over 2M Euro on extravagant themes and displays. On the former runways of Tempehof Airport the Luna Park area was the location for grand stages, a man made beach, eateries and open-air exhibits. It was also the first time Bread and Butter Nights took place when urban outfitters around Berlin extended their opening hours until 10 pm.

At the heart of the fair was the “Denim Base” where major names like GUESS, Hilfiger Denim, Calvin Klein and Diesel tried their best to impress specialized denim retailers. Scotch and Soda, an Amsterdam-based brand, made it’s first appearance, with their debut coinciding with the grand opening of their store in Berlin Mitte.  In their two story glass encased booth they introduced the 2012 Spring/Summer line dedicated to women, Maison Scotch. The clothing ranges from graphic tees, white summer pieces to structured and stylish blazers. The collection is inspired by global travels and it’s clear that New York street style and Japanese design were major influences. Each garment has a dandelion pendant sewn onto it which is the also the Maison Scotch logo. Maison Scotch clothing is available in any of the 300 stores throughout the world and their website offers international shipping.

One of the most beautiful installations in the Denim Base was presented by Italian designer, Fornarina. To showcase their Spring/Summer 2012 collection and their expanded denim line they combined fashion and art. Kahori Maki, a Japanese artist, made exclusive nature inspired prints for the shirts, tops and mini dresses in the collection. The floral and marine inspirations for the clothing were transposed onto the mannequins which had butterflies, shells, and flowers for heads. Fornarina is offered in retailers in 54 countries excluding the United States. Selected pieces of their collection can be purchased from www.asos.co.uk, which offers international shipping.

Vintage inspired clothing made it’s mark in the different areas of the tradeshow too.  In the party girl clothing and accessories section, “Fashion Now,” Fever London, presented it’s latest 50’s inspired Autumn/Winter 2011 collection. Fever London has an impressive range of tops, skirts and dresses in vintage inspired silhouettes. The prints and patterns are bold and timeless with a contemporary edge. Fever London sells directly on www.feverdesign.co.uk within Europe and are occasionally offered by Modcloth in the United States. T-shirt label Worn By, took a different approach to vintage by recreating iconic moments in music history. Worn By delivers replicas of shirts worn by many famous faces in rock and roll and pop culture. Each t-shirt comes with a unique Polaroid style tag of the inspiration for the design. Worn By are distributed worldwide and sell their shirts directly online at www.wornby.co.uk.

Smaller label owners headed to the trade fair to meet disturbers and to build their brand in Germany, more specifically Berlin. One independent designer, Ohema Ohena, combines African sophistication with a British twist. The name means “queen” and “king” in the Ghanian language of Twi. The line delivers beautiful garments in West African prints in modern silhouettes plus stylish footwear. The creator of Ohema Ohena is British born Abenaa Pokuaa. Abenna draws inspiration for the line from multicultural London and uses both West African and London based textiles in her garments and shoes. Her majestic collection can be found in boutiques around the world. United States shoppers can purchase online at www.ohemaohena.com.

The Bread and Butter tradeshow provided insight into the upcoming urban trends and what’s to be expected in shops during the first quarter of 2012. Attendees not only got a glimpse into the future but received an unintentional showcase of the current state of fashion from the hip and trendy participants. The current trend of eighties inspired skinny jean, straight legs cuts, and short shorts with leather belts will continue into next year. The difference next summer will be more prints, patterns, and color on denim and tops. Even accessories like handbags and sunglasses will be offered in different textures to provide the wearer with a sense of individuality. For more information about the brands, fashion and festivities, check out Bread and Butter online.


Keep up with our girl Nicole and her Berlin-based adventures every week here on Parlour. Enjoy!

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