If you can imagine Jessica Rabbit with tattoos, then you are halfway to picturing what some of Berlin’s hippest girls look like. Fifties skirts, girly ponytails and tailored uniforms are combined with piercings, tattoos and out-of-control hair to create looks that are both pretty and tough at the same time: rockabilly meets burlesque with a touch of WWII army sweetheart and Japanese schoolgirl thrown in for good measure.
Berlin traditionally has been a rockabilly stronghold, with numerous concerts every week and at least five bars catering to the scene. But, according to designer Valena Fürstenberg, over the last couple of years, rockabilly girls have started dressing more femininely, ditching the masculine plaid shirts and the dark, turned-up jeans in favor of dresses, skirts and Forties makeup. “The popularity of burlesque, and personalities such as Dita Von Teese, Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera have certainly helped,” she believes. The fact that mainstream fashion in general has become dressier and more feminine also makes it easier to pull off a Fifties dress.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"