Promoting Berlin style as a fashion benchmark was the aim when 14 young Berlin designers, sponsored by ENGEEberlin Style Embassy, presented their creative collections to Stockholm’s VIPs in the luxury residence of the German Ambassador Bosso von Alvensleben on April 27.

The show featured less avant-garde but wearable casualwear, streetwear and upper casual clothing were highlighted during the 30-minute presentation.

Highlights included ultra baggy pants from Butterflysoulfire, urban sweaters and cuffs from Pury (shown above) and tees with Berlin slogans such as “Icke Berlin,” “Kietz König” or “Spree Athener” from Icke Berlin, which presented five styles apiece. Sixteen models presented the collections (which were not designed with a particular season in mind) to the sound of hot German beats from retro to techno, composed by ENGEEberlin founder Nikolas Gleber.

So what makes the real Berlin style? “For me Berlin style is serious, clean and sporty with sexy elements,” says Margareta van den Bosch, head of design at H&M. “The Swedish style is cool and clean, too, but less feminine.” Magnus Gustafson, owner and founder of Stockholm retailer Paul&Friends adds, “The styles are young and streety.”

The residence of the German Ambassador was a perfect site for the show. The beautiful villa is located in the middle of Stockholm’s green isle Diurgården (zoological garden) and has an interesting history: it was built in 1905 by Ranja Oestberg, the same architect who designed Stockholm’s famous city hall. The villa houses a genre painting from Carl Larsson, one of the most important Swedish 20th century painters, and in the ‘60s the house was owned by ABBA manager Stikkan Andersson.

The models stalked down the wooden stairs passing by the famous painting, walked under the huge chandelier in the living room and up the stairs again – followed by the eyes of the 70 guests, who were Swedish and German representatives of media, fashion and politics.

“ENGEEberlin contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs in order to initiate this fashion show,” says Ambassador von Alvensleben. “In the beginning, I was a bit skeptical, but now I am glad that we did a fresh event like this. And fashion is a good way to express culture.”

And Gleber, too, is happy with his first “out-of-Berlin-event.” He says, “It has been a great success and the styleshows are going on. The Italian and the Russian Ambassador as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs signalized that they were interested in a collaboration. But a next stop could be Barcelona.”

Gleber founded the Style Embassy as a platform for small local labels while promoting “Berlin-Style” internationally as a force to be reckoned with.

Now in Stockholm at least, people know now what “Ich bin ein Berliner” really means.

- Barbara Stockinger, Editorial Contributer