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Letter From Berlin: Scene

Places to go and things to do in Berlin during fashion week.

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NATURAL NURTURE: A peaceful bit of the Austrian woods has come to Berlin’s trendy Hackescher Markt with the new Susanne Kaufmann day spa. A full line of facial and body treatments, including shaving services for men, massage and a private spa for couples, is offered in a pristine white environment.


This is the second location for Kaufmann, whose premier spa is in the alpine Hotel Post Bezau, a family-run resort in the Bregenzerwald region of Austria. Kaufmann’s artisanal line of more than 60 organic products, used and sold in both spas, are handmade in small batches, using plants from the region.

While Germany is home to a host of natural cosmetics companies, Kaufmann feels her line is different, thanks to its deep roots in tradition. Her grandmother used the herbs arnica and St. John’s wort in tonics and poultices — now they’ve made their way into Kaufmann’s high-end creams. The Susanne Kaufmann Spa joins Asian-influenced Yi-Spa Studio and waxing-beauty center Senzera in Berlin’s newest spa row.

— Susan Stone

This story first appeared in the January 21, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Susanne Kaufmann Spa Berlin Monbijouplatz 4, 10178; +49-30-2345-5973; susannekaufmann.com/spaberlin

 

 

A BIRD? A PLANE? A CLUB: If the club is easy to find, and has anything so obvious as a sign on the door, you can be sure it’s not the place to be. In fact, the latest of Berlin’s hip hangouts are rarely, strictly speaking, clubs at all. “It’s a bit boring if it’s straightaway obvious what we are about. Much more interesting to keep people guessing,” explained Johannes Schoen, manager of HBC Kollektiv, a rambling 16,000-square-foot art exhibition space spread over quirky rooms that double as a club, live music venue and cinema.

Opened in September in the retro East Bloc chic of the former Hungarian Cultural Center, Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse 9, the first event was originally intended as a one-time arts party in a deserted building. HBC now throws regular club nights in which partygoers run around between eccentric art installations and dance in the Hungarian Center’s old cinema auditorium. The venue will host numerous events throughout Fashion Week, including the official party for the avant-garde trade show Projekt Galerie.

Meanwhile, over in Kreuzberg, LiveAtDot, a live concert location for serious music aficionados with a restaurant upstairs, has moved into what was once the club 103, at Falckensteinstrasse 47. To check out Mitte’s glam set, head for Violet, Rosmarinstrasse 8-9, set up by the owners of Weekend. And for something a bit more underground, where the beer is cheap and the crowd relaxed, search out the tiny Spyz, tucked away on Reichenbergerstrasse 125.

— D.M.

 

APARTMENT STORE: Berlin’s concept store pioneer Andreas Murkudis has done it again. The king of Munzstrasse, where he runs his AM 1, 2 and 3 stores plus the Acne shop, has inaugurated his latest retail format. Called Etage, it’s located up some unlikely looking stairs in the front building of his Munzstrasse 21 courtyard. Etage is housed in a 2,000 square-foot, second-floor apartment. Here’s a chance to check out a typical altbau Berlin residence complete with parquet floors, French doors, ultrahigh ceilings and oodles of space. As with everything Murkudis sells, Etage is an assemblage of some of his favorite things, here set out in a creative room-by-room mix. While the emphasis is on interior design, furniture by E15, Vitra and architects Gonzalez/Haase, lamps from Serge Mouille, Flos, Wigglesworth-Weider, Nymphenburg porcelain and Lobmeyr glass share the stage with Altmann & Kühne Viennese chocolates; Rochelt fruit brandy; Montale fragrances; Johnston cashmere, and a rainbow of bias-cut dresses by his brother Kostas Murkudis. The concept is too frequently “clean house,” and Etage’s multiple rooms will be redesigned at the end of February.

— M.D.

Etage Andreas Murkudis

Open Monday through Saturday, noon to 8 p.m.;

Munzstrasse 21, 10178; andreasmurkudis.net

 

KNIT WIT: Local knitwear designer Maike Dietrich is known for her bulky though often lightweight hand-knit sweaters, scarves, caps, mittens and assorted fashion paraphernalia. But with her temporary sales installation at Galerie Oona, a contemporary jewelry store and gallery, she’s turned her size 15 needles in new directions. In what she calls “the first knitted store in the world,” Dietrich is presenting knitted lampshades, rugs, oversize pillows, tea cozies, place mats, book covers, flower pot holders, sometimes sporting a chunky cable in bulky wool or strangely airy in mohair. And all the more unexpected when paired with one project sponsor’s fine white china: Berlin’s royal porcelain manufacturer, KPM. Galerie Oona, which specializes in “artistic” jewelry presentations, is preparing for another fashion liaison.

The closing reception of Maiami’s Knitted Store on Jan. 29 will also double as a preview of a new collaborative show of jewelry designer Volker Atrops’ work and Berlin fashion label Boessert Schorn’s fall 2009 collection.

— M.D.

Maiami — The Knitted Store

C/o Galerie Oona, Auguststrasse 26, 10117;

Open Tuesday through Saturday, 2 to 6 p.m.

oona-galerie.de

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