The Mall Of Malls

A hive of ac­tiv­ity, in­ter­rupted by a war and a wall, is buzzing once more. the Pots­damer Platz area by vis­it­ing the new Mall of Berlin.

Where Berlin - - Contents - BY ANNABELLE MALLIA

The epi­cen­ter of pre-war Berlin's com­mer­cial life is buzzing once more with the newly opened Mall of Berlin.

Let’s start from the be­gin­ning: a bustling hotspot of fash­ion, life­style, mu­sic, and art, back in the 1920s Pots­damer Platz was an iconic spot on par with London’s Pic­cadilly Cir­cus or New York’s Times Square, with a vis­i­tor flow so heavy that the city had to in­stall traf­fic lights – the first in con­ti­nen­tal Europe. Wertheim, one of the world’s big­gest and most lux­u­ri­ous depart­ment stores at the time, took cen­ter stage and set new fash­ion stan­dards. Like most of the city, how­ever, the Platz was re­duced to rub­ble by WWII bombs. It then re­mained des­o­late through­out the Cold War era, when the Berlin Wall ran right through the mid­dle of it. After re­uni­fi­ca­tion, this be­came Europe’s largest con­struc­tion site, with a se­ries of re­de­vel­op­ment projects filling the Berlin sky­line with hun­dreds of cranes. To­day, the area is back to its for­mer glory, and the brand-new Mall of Berlin (www. mallof­ber­lin.de), which opened in Septem­ber where the old Wertheim once stood, is its most re­cent project. The ur­ban mix of gas­tron­omy, en­ter­tain­ment, of­fice and liv­ing spa­ces, and, of course, shop­ping, is de­signed to daz­zle, and the mall alone has 270 shops cov­er­ing more than 76,000 square me­ters. Amongst the mul­ti­tude of top in­ter­na­tional brands and de­sign­ers, you’ll find sev­eral la­bels that are open­ing their doors in Berlin for the first time. Fea­tur­ing fash­ion from Spain, Bimba

& Lola (www.bim­bay­lola.com) car­ries fem­i­nine de­signs for the ur­ban woman: think geo­met­ric print dresses in­spired by dark­ness and magic, tex­tured tweeds, and striped fur rem­i­nis­cent of me­dieval sagas. The line is cre­ated by two sis­ters with a love for fash­ion, na­ture, and their pet dogs, after which the company is named. A ma­jor Ital­ian brand of prêt-a-porter fash­ion is Liu Jo (www.li­ujo.com), pre­sent­ing its col­lec­tion of jew­elry, watches, hand­bags, kids’

“The ur­ban mix of gas­tron­omy, en­ter­tain­ment, of­fice and liv­ing spa­ces is de­signed to daz­zle.”

clothes, beach­wear, and lin­gerie. Also from Italy is TWIN SET Si­mona Bar­bieri (www.twin-set. it), a ro­man­tic la­bel for women who ap­pre­ci­ate the frivolous de­tails of by­gone eras but are now look­ing for the mod­ern ver­sion. Step in to ad­mire items dec­o­rated with a bow and heart, a shawl, some lacy ruf­fles, or Provençal– in­spired prints and em­broi­dery. Then there are two neigh­borly la­bels from Aus­tria: Air­field (www.air­field.at), which is let­ting the wild­cat out of its cage this sea­son with leopard prints ev­ery­where; and Spor­talm (www.spor­talm.at), where you won’t only find min­i­mal-chic ladies’ fash­ion, but also a range of stylish golf wear as well as Tracht and Dirndl col­lec­tions. The tra­di­tional na­tional cos­tumes in Ger­man-speak­ing coun­tries, th­ese out­fits worn by peas­ant women in the Alps con­sist of a full, wide skirt and close-fit­ting bodice. Another pleas­ant sur­prise on the mall’s long list of re­tail­ers is the open­ing of men’s fash­ion store Worm­land and of rich&royal, car­ry­ing youth­ful clothes for pas­sion­ate women. And do not miss the first branch of Ital­ian lin­gerie la­bel

In­timis­simi (www.in­timis­simi.com), pre­sent­ing high-qual­ity un­der­gar­ments that are classy and sen­sual at the same time. So whether it’s to get a glimpse of his­tory or to re­stock your wardrobe, the Mall of Berlin is sure to make for a very re­ward­ing and com­plete shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence.

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