THE A TEAM: Already being hailed as the “coolest Mercedes” after its debut at the Shanghai motor show last April, Mercedes-Benz decided to up the intellectual and artistic ante surrounding the introduction of its new Concept A-class – the first in a new generation of Mercedes-Benz compact cars to be launched in four variants over the next four years. And so the German auto giant called in Jil Sander head designer Raf Simons to curate the Avantgarde Diaries, a three-day festival that opens Friday night at the Berlin Congress Center, an equally cool Sixties landmark on Alexanderplatz.


Simons’ multifaceted program includes concerts from the These New Puritans and Goose & Fischerspooner; a symposium on pop culture lead by Jo-Ann Furnisss with Tim Blanks, Paul Morley and a “special guest;” a performance by The Michael Clark Company; permanent exhibitions by Peter Saville, Germaine Kruip and Peter de Potter; live blogging by Hapsical and Dandy Gum, and favorite sci-fi and horror flicks like “Night of the Living Dead” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Indeed, Simons openly tapped his favorites for this event. “The thread is that they all relate to me,” the designer told WWD. “In that I have a strong interest in them based on my past, or that I’m just getting interested in them now.”


The three day festival is free and partially open to the public, July 16 and 17 from noon to midnight.

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