ACTING UP: John Malkovich was in Berlin Tuesday for the first time in a decade to toast the German retail debut of his Technobohemian men’s collection at trendy fashion emporium The Corner. It’s only the fifth door worldwide to carry the specialized men’s wear range, going into its third season for spring/summer 2011. “I’ve done several films here, one with Volker (Schlondorff),” mused the actor, who was greeted by the celebrated filmmaker and given a signed copy of his autobiography. Malkovich was next headed to St. Petersburg where he is doing the opera “The Infernal Comedy,” which he is co-directing. Despite Malkovich’s own admission that, “I don’t think it’s the greatest time in this business,” The Corner’s owners said they’re optimistic Technobohemian will appeal to gentleman interested in making an individual fashion statement.
FUNNY MONEY: While most brands are content to open corners in department stores, Diesel has more or less moved into KaDeWe in Berlin. The Italian brand built a rambling 5,000-square-foot Diesel dwelling, complete with car parked atop an Astroturf lawn, in the main-floor atrium. Almost everything in the Diesel flat – including a pink TV in the living room, tables, chairs, Diesel Farm olive oil, even the kitchen sink – is for sale, along with jeans packed in various crannies. “It’s all about being stupid,” said Thorsten Link, Diesel country manager for Germany. “That’s been our campaign for the last six months and it’s going on. We even have stupid money – when people get change, there are coins that say, ‘Use me for something stupid.’” He continued, “At a time when everything is going digital, we’re being analogue. And what’s more analogue than inviting people to your home?”
HAVING A BALL: There was soccer frenzy at Bread and Butter’s opening party Tuesday night at Berlin’s former Tempelhof airport. Thousands crowded into a stadium, which had been erected on the former runway for the event, to watch Uruguay take on the Netherlands in the World Cup semi-finals, broadcast from South Africa on a giant screen. Bread and Butter’s head Karl-Heinz Muller showed his allegiance to the Dutch team when he addressed the crowd in an orange shirt to introduce German band Sportfreunde Stiller, who specialize in catchy pop songs about the beautiful game. Drinks were flung skyward as the Netherlands stormed 3-2 to victory and a shower of orange confetti descended on the crowd. “Now everyone will be in a good mood for the trade show,” said Emma Heckel, a Dutch buyer.
BLACK MAGIC: Based on Tuesday night’s premiere of Projekt Galerie’s new Black Box Theatre, young designers in Berlin may finally have found an interesting alternative to the conventional runway format. Don’t Shoot the Messengers, who inaugurated a space that will showcase nine labels, opted to place six black-clad models on black pillars, accompanied by a cellist. It illustrated the Berlin-based duo’s signature balance of sharp geometric lines and more flowing, curving shapes. The most fetching look was a black satin top with an attached silk georgette scarf, worn with black satin shorts. Other presentations this season are to involve video projections, interactive parties and models being dressed by the designers on stage.
SNEAK PEEK: The German edition of the celebrity and fashion magazine Grazia, which launched six months ago, staged a “sneak preview” fashion show Tuesday night, the first of its kind at Berlin Fashion Week. One look from almost every designer gave a glimpse of things to come, including eco casual wear from Green Showroom’s Magdalena Schaffrin and Reet Aus, who will not be showing at the tents. Thomas Engle Hart put his men’s wear on a female model, while Patrick Mohr’s tribal streetwear woke up the crowd. The biggest cheer came at the end of the show when three models in black, red and yellow gowns walked the runway in tandem, evoking the German flag. A fleet of cars then whisked guests to an after-party at rooftop club Weekend.