Inside Coco’s apartment

The fact that Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was a woman of taste is certainly not something that needed any confirming but when we were invited to the re-see of the Chanel Paris-Bombay collection inside her rue Cambon apartment, Coco Chanel’s stauts as fashion icon was reiterated. Our hearts missed a beat when we walked up the famous spiral staircase to Chanel’s apartment. As we saw ourselves in the mirror panels covering the walls, we remembered that Coco used to sit at the top of the staircase where no one could see her, and watch her own shows through their reflection in the mirror.
Admiring Coco’s eclectic mix of classical French furniture and oriental antiquities as well as her penchant for Japanese sculptures and religious artefacts, it soon became clear that this unique fusion of Occident and Orient was the perfect setting for Chanel’s Paris-Bombay collection presentation. Heavy jewellery like precious tikka headpieces and other Indian inspired necklaces, bangles, armlets and rings completed the collections opulent yet nonchalant style. As if King Karl were reborn as a Maharaja, the looks, shown on mannequins, are a perfect mix of Parisian chic and a “just returned from Goa” style.
You’d find fitted and couture-like versions of sari gowns and harem pants in mostly white and metallic shades contrasting with a few splashes of fuchsia and Persian blue. Boyish costumes in lamé fabrics add a casual attitude to the collection, while massive embroideries and hand-painted flower motifs would set a refined and feminine tone. And of course, Karl paid homage to Coco’s superstitious fascination with opulent crystal jewels whose healing powers she believed in. Bedazzled by the experience, we can only hope that Chanel will reveal more of Coco’s secret inspirations very soon.

Juliane Solmsdorf

Juliane Solmsdorf’s art-world endeavours reach far beyond art making. As a young art student, Solmsdorf would turn empty spaces – still abundant in Berlin – into pop-up exhibition spaces, dabbling in the role of manager and gallerist. Her latest temporary space, which she ran together with Matti Bergmann, was called 4D and occupied an empty shopping passage behind Berlin’s signature tourist attraction, the TV Tower. Often working with ready-mades, Solmsdorf’s body of work is as varied as the objects and materials she reworks into her installations, sculptures and performances. She dissociates found objects from their materiality, making the processes of motion and transformation intrinsic to the work. A young woman artist, she doesn’t shun the difficult territory of feminine art, and the body, its absence and its eroticism are recurrent motifs.

Go here for more works and contact information.

Givenchy Men’s Fall Pre-Collection

For his Fall 2012 men’s collection, Riccardo Tisci got his inspiration from marines, sharks, and surfers in the night, wet suits and dark waters defining the color palette. The result is a strongly utilitarian outerwear, interlaced with Givenchy’s elegance. The construction techniques, fabric development and unconventional treatment of material complete the Italian fashion designer’s vision of urban elegance. Here’s a preview featuring some of our favourite looks:

Point & Shop

and design grandmaster Karl Lagerfeld have created a visioniary store concept for launching the designer’s new collection for the e-tailer: nothing but the pictures of the items of the collection in the showroom window, and only an iPad or iPhone needed to buy them. Yesterday, simultaneously in in Paris, London, Berlin, New York (and this morning in Sydney), the release of this futuristic shopping shop took place (Sleek went along to the pavement “showroom” on Taubenstrasse in Mitte). Net-a-Porter already tried a QR code-based sale version in September in London, and it proved a great success.
How to do it? Download the KARL app from iTunes, launch the application, scan the images in the window and then simply press the “buy” button. It’s so cool you probably won’t even miss trying the clothes on.

Paris Menswear 2012/13

This season Paris Menswear was a showcase of tasteful masculinity on the runway. sleek spotted Paris’ most successful boys in action; from new faces such as Baptiste Radufe to top models like Clément Chabernaud, Alexandre Imbert and Miles McMillan, male models finally set a manly tone, a move away from the androgynous look that reigned the runways over the past seasons. Traditional evening suits are re-invented at Christian Lacroix, Cerruti and Adam Kimmel, ACNE is all about easygoing contemporary tailoring, Boris Bidjan Saberi relies on an urban yet experimental look and Kenzo surprisingly brought the Parisian Metro onto its runway. We even spotted everybody’s darling Willy Cartier walking for Jean Paul Gaultier! Take a look at our photo-story and relish the new masculinity.

All images ©Nadia Morganistik. All text by Elisabeta Tudor


Mirror of Happiness

© Sam Samore, Courtesy Capitain Petzel, Berlin

Capitain Petzel have teamed up with Kino Babylon for one night, to present an exclusive preview screening of  photographer, Sam Samore’s “Mirror of Happiness”. The film follows two couples (and two ghosts) in a fragmented fairy tale, following the imagination and stream of their consciousness in a parallel universe. In true Samore style, the film attempts to blur the line between reality and fiction, often being told in a non-linear narrative.

Samore is no stranger when it comes to visualizing the conscious and unconscious mind, with much of his work surrounding this idea. The work is often monochrome, having a silent, cinematic depth to it. His current show at Capitain Petzel, “The Dark Suspicion”, is a collection of seductive colour photographs and three short films, encouraging the viewer to focus on their own desires and fantasies.
“Mirror of Happiness” is screening tonight at 19.30 at Kino Babylon Mitte. The artist will be present.

Sam Samore’s “The Dark Suspicion”  
Capitain Petzel, Karl-Marx Allee 45
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 11 am to 6 pm   

Prada 24h Museum

Considering the museum is intended to house items that are as close to timelessness as it’s possible for man-made objects to be, you might wonder why Prada’s “24h” museum, opening in Paris at 7am on Wednesday January 25, is defying the convention and redefining the notion of “pop-up” with such as short interval of opening. Perhaps best to pose that question to Prada (under whose auspices the museum is opening at the Palais D’Iéna), AMO, the thinktank operated by Rem Koolhaas, and the artist Francesco Vezzoli, who is tasked with curating each of its three spaces (themed respectively as historic, contemporary and forgotten).
The Milan-based, former Central St Martins’ artist has imagined a “non-existent museum” peopled with tributes to “the eternal allure of femininity though interpretations of classical sculptures that make reference to contemporary divas”. Given Vezzoli’s background in interdiscipinary work, combining visual arts, cinema and theatre, the event promises to be timelessly atemporal in the very newest of ways.

For 24hours only from 7am January 25 2012,
9 Place D’Iéna, 75016 Paris.

Berlin Fashion Weak

Irina Schrotter

Another season over, another semi mediocre fashion week bites the dust for Berlin. Ok, so there were some highlights, but in general there was a lot of fairly dull, COS look alike collections that the pomp and circumstance of a runways show only helped expose as dreadfully bland. We couldn’t help but feeling that some designers might actually be showing the same collection, year after year, with little to no progress. And is it too much to ask for clothes that are actually fitted on the models?
After quickly realising that running around from show to show is not that much fun in the rain, this fashion week proved to be a little like the weather; overcast with only little bursts of light brightening up the bleak, grey forecast. However, lets put our critical thoughts to one side for just a moment and focus on the better parts of the week. One of the more pleasant surprises was the show of Romanian Designer underdog, Irina Schrotter. With a barely there front row, the joke is on the supposed „Berlin Fashionistas“ who missed out on one of the more interesting and well executed shows of the entire week.

Alexandra Kiesel

Next up is Alexandra Kiesel, winner of the „Designer for Tomorrow“ award, who did not disappoint with her first collection since winning the prize. The runway was set alight with bright bursts of colour and lively prints, with some of the sharpest haircuts seen during the week. Kiesel’s forward thinking and risk taking collection was a well-welcomed break from the simplistic, pastel palette collections that often appear on Berlin’s one tone runway.

Wood Wood, Photo© Corina Lecca

And of course Danish favourites, Wood Wood, who presented a very Afghan inspired Men and Women’s street style collection at the MADE space, to a Sapcemen 3 soundtrack. Maybe one of the only designers who actually created clothing made for Autumn/Winter conditions, we are looking forward to seeing how men in the real world can pull off the knitted, print legging look next winter. When we say looking forward to, we actually mean „nervous“.

At the end of it all, the ups and downs, the good, bad and the extremely ugly, and with all the negative comments aside, we did have a good time. Berlin Fashion Week may not be up there with the big guns of the Fashion Week World just yet but what we may lack in actual innovative style we make up for in hype. By the bucket load infact.

Quick sleek highlights:

• Spotting Julianne Moore at the Hugo Boss show at Kulturforum.

• The Molami Headphone dinner at the new sister restaurant of Bandol Sur Mer, and leaving with a pair of the very fine headphones.

• The Vladimir Karaleev show.

• Hanging out with Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy and listening to his dub step compilations.

• Watching and joining in as people lost their cool to Prince’s „Lets Go Crazy“ at the Broken Hearts Club.

• Waiting for the Chihuahua sitting on the front row to join in on the Perret Schaad show.

• The neon highlights and playfulness of details in the studio presentation by BLAME.

• Partick Mohr designed a collection! With clothes!!!

• Kaviar Gauche’s well put together show and beautiful collection, albeit repetition.

•Questionable “highlight”: Trying to work out what was the deal with those canvases on the way into the runway.

 Text by Amy Binding


Deconstructing Reynold Reynolds

LEAP, Berlin’s best address for electronic art and performance, is welcoming the year 2012 with a new monthly series. “Deconstructing” is a presentation and lecture event that gives the stage to established video artists. But instead of deconstructing their own work, they will curate a program that should shed some light on the genealogy of their artistic output as well as frame it within a current discourse by showing works of younger artists. The first event in the Deconstructing series takes place tonight, with American artist Reynold Reynolds, who has been working on a new piece in Berlin, based on a found, unfinished silent film from the 1930s. The event is open to the public.

LEAP, Lab for Electronic Arts and Performance
(Berlin Carré 1. floor)
Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13
10178 Berlin



COMME des GARÇONS comes to Mitte

When Andreas Murkudis moved his concept store to West Berlin last year, the media announced “the end of Mitte”, even the New York Times ran a story calling it the final kiss of death to the once cool district, now taken over by mainstream chains with their drab stone washed denims. The end of Mitte it’s not. In fact, all you need to do is stay clear of Münzstraße and go explore the not-so-linear Linienstraße. Especially now that it has become home to one of Berlin’s most exciting retail arrivals in a long time.

On Sunday 15 of January, when oddly enough it wasn’t snowing, around 250 people thronged into the new COMME des GARÇONS store at No.115 Linienstr.  Considering Rei Kawakubo’s iconoclastic fashion brand invented the notion of the “guerilla store” in Berlin, back in 2004, the opening seems in some ways like closing a circle: it isn’t though, according to Ms. Karakubo’s husband Adrian Joffe, whom sleek met for coffee the next morning. “It’s an on-going journey and process,” he said. “The very first time we came here we were inspired by Berlin, and we’ve always liked the energy in Berlin.”

CdG never do things by the traditional retail-book. In fact they effectively rewrote the manual for direct-to-customer fashion “experiences.” Accordingly, the new location is two shops in one, each offering distinct sub-brands: to the right is the austere, black-walled showroom for CdG’s Black label, while to the right, in a separate room of this former gallery, is the Pocket Shop, selling the label’s signature wallets, Tees, scents and accessories. “Berlin is the first place in the world where they’re together,” Joffe said. “They normally have different function – our Pocket Shop in Paris is no bigger than one room, so this is the biggest Black Shop, and the only Pocket in a Black shop.”

The hallmarks of Kawakubo’s matchless sense of detail and juxtaposition are there in the fittings: in the Pocket Shop, a gazebo-like wooden frame sits inside the white-walled room, though it is skewed, and its beams lie out of parallel with the sides of the room. An ersatz corner of the frame even protrudes into the adjacent “Black” space, as if it had been built through the separating masonry wall. Only at Comme des Garçons… The store came to be after its manager, Christian Weinecke (who ran the original Berlin guerilla store), was asked by Joffe if he would like to do something new in Berlin. “I said, ‘it’s a place we like a lot,’”, Joffee recalled. “Since then we had these new idea for a shop – Pocket Shop and Black. The premises are bigger than we thought for the Pocket Shop, so we said why don’t we do something with both of them?”
This beautiful and playfully amusing shop is what resulted. In some ways it’s an art piece in itself, which means it fits in rather well in the gallery-heavy streets south of Torstrasse.

“The space lends itself to [Rei Kawakubo’s] aesthetic, it’s minimal and you’re free to do whatever you want within the space, at the same time as respecting the space,” Joffe said. “That’s why we left it to Christian to design within the parameters of the Black Shop – it has to have black walls – and the Pocket Shop, which should look like a convenience store. We gave him the freedom to design and each thing has to have its context. It’s very important for us. You have to respect the space that you’re in and the surrounding area – it’s all very important.”

Black & Pocket Shop,
Linienstrasse 115, 10115 Berlin.
Tel: +49 30 2809 5880.

Bruno Pieters’ favourites

Bruno Pieters

Bruno Pieters conceived this new concept during a sabbatical from the fashion industry in southern India. An award-winning designer and art director, Pieters spent 2010 exploring the developing world, an experience that profoundly affected his personal philosophy and his thinking about fashion. Upon returning to Antwerp in 2011, Peters began work on a radical new concept that would revolutionise the way we think of what we wear. His new endeavour will be revealed soon and a teaser is already circulating on Youtube, but before Pieters gets too busy promoting the project, we caught up with him to talk about his favourite things:

1. I love the photograph of our planet from space. This image always reminds me to take things less seriously. I find it so beautiful.

2. My favourite item that I’ve designed is the camel trench coat. I find it is timeless and strong. Women don’t always need to wear dresses to look interesting I think.

3. My motto is “Be The Change You Want to See in The World”. I try to apply this every second of the day. It’s not easy. Sometimes I do treat others the way I would want to be treated or I buy things I shouldn’t be buying. But I’m constantly aware of it when those things happen, which makes it easier for me to avoid repeating myself the next time I find myself in this specific situation.

4. I love diving. The life that exists under the sea is breath taking and so precious. It relaxes me like nothing else can.

5. My favourite exhibition last year was Sophie Calle’s “Rachel Monique” at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The atmosphere was so serene and unique.

6. I can spend an entire day at the Musée Rodin in Paris. The house of Rodin is so grand and welcoming at the same time.


The Windows Phone FM music highlight

What happens when Berlin based electro act Bodie Bill meets electro legend Thavius Beck? There’s only one way to find out! Experience this multi-medial live music event on Saturday January 21 at Berlin’s Tape Club. The electronic music night is organized by Windows Phone FM and the entry is via guest list only. Write us an email to to get one of five guestlist spaces for you and a friend. 

Disillusion of Narrative at idrawalot

Tonight, in the dark depths of Neukölln, a gallery will be having an opening. But unlike the many other off spaces in the area this one promises to be something a little bit different.  Hosted in the gallery/showroom idrawalot, Melbourne artist Angus Baird will be showing a body of work dealing with the inherent representation in photography and pushing it into the abyss of abstraction. Collecting photographic material from Australia, Spain, Berlin and Poland and later putting each one through a process of deterioration and damage, the final images that Baird ends up with are unique, one off visual pieces that border the cusp on photography and fine art.

Also available at the exhibition will be signed Limited Edition Artist Books featuring the artworks of Angus Baird.

Angus Baird, “Disillusion of Narrative”
Idrawalot Gallery/showroom, Boddinstraße 60.
Tuesday – Saturday 12-6pm.