Dressing Like A Berliner
Do your dietary requirements include sausages smothered in curry sauce? Have you ever been arrested for spray-painting obscenities onto a school, which you only did because you love making art? Do you like to ride your bike on the pavement, determined to run over small innocent children with your burning wheels of fury?
If you’ve answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then head on over to Berlin, where such behaviour is mandatory!
I’ve actually just returned from a little holiday in the capital of Germany. I went there a naïve gentle-lady, and have returned as a techno-loving schnitzel eater. Schnitzel, by the way, is meat fried in egg and bread crumbs, and I wouldn’t knock it before I tried it if I were you! In fact, I wouldn’t knock anything in Germany in case I got called an Arschloch by the locals.
As you can imagine, I’m now bursting at the seams with hilarious anecdotes from my trip. Like the time I spoke too loudly about Hitler on the train, or the other time when my friend found a small, potentially human bone in the hostel bed. Unfortunately, I’m meant to be a serious journalist concerned with issues that transcend my own meandering experiences. So for this reason, I’m going to be selfless and use all my raw talent to teach you how to dress like a real person from Berlin.
During my travels, I quickly learnt that the Berlin locals do not really appreciate fluffy pink cardigans or flowery trousers. The word kitsch does not feature in their vocabulary, and they simply are too busy to appreciate ironic statements about femininity made via pointy shoes. They take life seriously. When I accidentally switched off the horrendous techno music that blasted throughout our hostel 24/7, I was treated with disgust. How dare I try to eliminate the very soundtrack of their culture? Germans are strong and serious, and like to dress accordingly. And clearly the best way to show that you don’t want to be messed with is to go grungy! The city youths flaunted multiple piercings and black graphic t shirts. Their boots were stumpy and their hair was prickly. They were death, only living. If you want to dress in a similar, paradoxical manner, then get tearing and safety pinning! Hang objects from your earlobes! LOOK ANGRY EVEN WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN!
If I’ve just frightened you, then I apologise. I have another tip for looking German that is somewhat easier to pull off, so do stay put. As you may already know, people in Berlin are very beautiful. Because they are beautiful they don’t waste their money on make-up. Ja, look at meee, their bare faces say. My cheekbones are soo sharp ja thaht I need no face-paint. So chuck out all your lotions and potions (that is, if stupid customs haven’t already done the honours, even after you paid 50p for a measly plastic bag) and brave the simple look. Spend enough time in Berlin and some beauty may eventually rub off on you! Oh, I’m joking, you’re gorgeous already. Oh, stop it, you don’t have to return the compliment just for the sake of it! We’re all beautiful people! Ego trips all round!
Art is everywhere in Berlin, to the extent that life can get confusing. Sometimes you think you’ve just stepped in a pile of dog poo, but actually you’ve just experienced interactive art. At other times you admire a beautiful painting for hours on end, only to be told that it’s actually an advert for car insurance. I went to a Salvador Dali exhibition in hope of finding some original fashion inspiration, but instead was subjected to pictures of penises adorning every possible surface. Thankfully, a trip to the East Side Gallery put me back on track. The East Side Gallery is misleadingly named, as it is merely a chunk of wall decorated with whole lot of graffiti and not a gallery at all. In Berlin, graffiti doesn’t just go on walls. It goes on toilets, on windows, even on people’s pets. It looks good and brightens up any dull surface. Which brings me to ask you, are your clothes currently a dull surface? If so, you know what to do!
If you get to Berlin and realise you have nowhere to buy your new look, then head to a flea market. They’re filled with cheery moustached individuals and you can really splash your euros, with a little going a long way. I came out with all sorts of crap that wouldn’t fit on the plane, but that’s the charm of it all. AUF WIEDERSEHEN FREUNDE, I’ll see you in Germany!
Written by Phoebe Eccles
Header image courtesy of http://dazeintominutes.wordpress.com/