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Archive for December, 2009

Vintage Shopping in Berlin

Vintage shopping in Berlin

By THE NEW YORK TIMES

By Natasha Montrose

Berlin is not the first capital city one thinks of when it comes to great shopping. Coming from Paris, where couture is like caffeine and well-heeled Parisians are part of the cityscape, fashion in Berlin seems categorically different.

Yet for those seeking something unique, the city is rich with second-hand and vintage shops, offering a huge range of styles that reflect the cultural changes Berlin went through during the twentieth century, from the decadent Weimar Republic to the turbulent reunification years. Prices vary widely – you can pick things up from as little as 5 euros up to 150 euros. Bartering is possible, depending on the shop.

The trendy Prenzlauer berg area in eastern Berlin is a hub for vintage shopping, comparable to Greenwich Village or Notting Hill but without the inflated price tags.


Cache Coeur stocks vintage couture.

Kastanienalle, known as ”casting alley” is a good starting point for shoppers. People-watching is highly recommended – kick back at the uber cool café 103 on the corner of Zionskirchstrasse. (MAP) The adjoining streets, notably Schönehauser Allee and Oderberger Strasse are also hotspots for bargain hunters. Shops brim with displays of leather boots suspended from rails, sorted by size; there are many colorful shirts and print dresses, as well as decorative objects, and the odd Bauhaus inspired piece of furniture. Shoppers could pick up a retro Adidas jacket, for example, for around 10 euros.

Opposite the U2 bahn station Senefelderplatz, is Cache Coeur, a boutique-style vintage shop stocking luxury clothes from the 50s (sourced from auctions and sales), couture pieces and contemporary labels such as Costume National, Miu Miu, Roland Mouret, all meticulously picked by its eccentric owner Gerlinde. The shop has a cult reputation amongst the fashion conscious Berliners and wardrobe consultants for film, theatre and opera. The window display was particularly inviting with a mid length fitted hot red cashmere winter coat, double-breasted with a wide belt.

A couple of shops on Weiner Strasse in the Kreuzberg district have a predominance of Tiki paraphernalia, with Hawaiian shirts that would make Magnum P.I. blush! All second-hand shops have a surplus of the ubiquitous army jacket and leather goods. However be prepared to rummage.

If second hand is not your thing, you can head down from Prenzlauer berg, towards Mitte, where Mulackstrasse is home to the German designer boutique LaLa Berlin. Their signature knits might be soft and light but don’t expect to find a bargain! Further along the street is a hip design store call Star Styling, with a mix of silk shirts, knits and accessories.

Thrift shopping hardly conjures up the Berlin of Dietrich’s day but young and hip eternally Das ist Berlin.

Addresses:
Cache Cœur, Schönhauser allee 174
Lala Berlin, Mulackstrasse 7 (www.lalaberlin.com)
Star Styling, Mulackstrasse 4

Great Picture

Don’t you just want to dive right into that sea? If you were in Zanzibar, where Lonely Planet photographer Mark Daffey took this image, you could.