Update: Also on the menu are now FKA Twigs and M.I.A and I just want to add HOLY SHEET.
Back when I first moved to Berlin, the cool kids didn’t get invited to Bread & Butter, where the best party of the year would happen- they had to beg to get on the guest list or otherwise prove themselves worthy.
Today, Bread & Butter by Zalando isn’t closed off to the public anymore, and in fact invites everyone – from locals to visitors, experts to consumers – to participate in what can only be described as an immersive experience in fashion, culture and lifestyle. Basically, if your aim is to be an influencer, this is the place where you can peek into the future of what’s hot, whether it be clothing, sports or even food. To top it all off, some of the finest artists will be at B&&B to host extravagant aftershow partys and perform live on stage (for 20€ per day pass, I might add – I mean goddamn, you can’t even buy a morsel of popcorn at the cinemas for that kinda money anymore).
Fashion, music and food at B&&B by Zalando
But apart from the aesthetics, the new B&&B – this years motto being ‘BOLD‘ – doesn’t shy away from depth and possible controversy. The new direction of the show under German fashion retailer Zalando is putting the reflection of and confrontation with contemporary practices of culture and fashion back on the agenda. Along with parties and fashion shows, B&&B is hosting panels with thrilling names such as Dame Vivienne Westwood, Adwoah Aboah and Wyclef Jean (with topics ranging from fashion to the life of a refugee).
I admit though, that’s an exorbitant schedule, and ain’t nobody got time for that. To help you see the light at the end of the schedule, I’ve prepared a guide with my favorite picks from this year’s B&&B by Zalando schedule.
The undeniable highlight of B&&B is the presence of the fashion industry’s favorite rebel, Dame Vivienne Westwood, who will be talking about the importance of art, books and literature and who hosts an entire oeuvre of her designs, where visitors will become immersed in her fascinating archive collection.
FASHION: Dame Vivienne Westwood Archive COLLECTION – All Day – 1 – 3 September – Arena Club
Talk: “Dame Vivienne Westwood – Get A Life” – 6 PM – 1 September – Festsaal
A Michelin star for a broiler chicken? GET OUTTA HERE. This hawker stall made the cut into what’s arguably the most reputable food guide in the world, and here we are now. Chan Hon Meng is coming to Berlin from Singapore to present his unique dishes from his Chinatown stall Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, for which he received a star last year. Now that’s what I call street food.
Hawker Chan Food Stall, All Day Everyday at Bread & Butter By Zalando
Can we talk about Adwoa Aboah for a moment? This British fashion model is your gateway drug to the beauty of diversity and the importance of feminism. In order to highlight the immense weight and power of the contemporary female perspective (especially at fashion shows!), Bread & Butter invites Adwoa Aboah to speak about her experiences at ‘Gurls Talk‘ – a platform curated by girls for girls.
Panel – ADwoa AboaH: ‘Gurls Talk’ – Saturday, 2 September 2017, 7PM – FESTSAAL
Love him or hate him, Yung Hurn may be the hottest shit that German speaking music has had to offer in the past years. His apathetic singing/rapping (with an undeniably captivating Austrian dialect) and the ever hyper-ironic style of meme rapping is combined with beats that get your Popo shaking. Let’s see if his live performance can keep up with the hype.
Performance – Yung Hurn – Saturday, 2 September – 8:30 PM – Beach Stage
Everybody’s got a special story about their first YouTube sinkhole, and mine is about Les Twins. They showed me what dancing could look like and they were arguably the first athletes that I subscribed to in 2007. In other words: They are still the only dancers that I know by name, and I’m excited to finally see them in action and not just in a whacky old dance battle recap internet video.
PERFORMANCE: Hilfiger x Les Twins – Saturday, 2 September 2017 – 5 PM – DENIM LAB
Despite Madonna’s efforts to put the culture of vogue into a few simple motivational words, ball culture can’t be taken out of context and re-worked into something clean and slick. Voguing is and will forever be the legacy of Harlem’s Black and Latino drag community, which started their own drag balls due to the discrimination experienced by people of colour at predominantly white shows – 50 years ago. Talk about liberation. I can’t get into all of it right now, but from my own various voguing ball experiences around Berlin, I can tell you that THIS party is going to be lit for sure.
Bread & Butter and the city’s vogue community (A++ for integration of local heroes) will host the Bold Ball together. Goddesses from Berlin’s ball scene will bring it in front of the sassiest judges from around the world as they take to the floor for a night to remember. See who will take home trophies for cutthroat categories, which include Butch Queen Face, U.S. Runway and Best Dressed. See also how I will be standing in the corner, trying to awkwardly move my hands along and not look like an utter, messy fool.
PARTY – THE BOLD BALL: VOGUING SESSION – 2 SEPTEMBER 2017 – 10 PM – FESTSAAL
This year’s edition of B&&B is also home to an active stage, where sports brands will retox your withered body with energy, motivational trainings, new styles of working out and some kick ass karate-fu. I’m specifically pumped to see people beat each other up big time at the Asics Martial Arts Workout. *grabs popcorn*
TRAINING: ASICS MARTIAL ARTS FITNESS WORKOUT – FRIDAY, 1 September – 8:30 PM- ACTIVE ARENA
Austrians are the better Germans. There, I said it. Acts like the aforementioned Yung Hurn and top festival headliners such as Bilderbuch can prove it. They may share the same distinct flavor of European whiteness and punctuality, but boy oh boy, are Austrians more charming and humorous than Germans. Somehow, they always seem to be slightly tipsy. I like that.
I can really appreciate the efforts of Bread & Butter to integrate German speaking acts into their vast program, but Bilderbuch takes the cake. They’ve toured sold out arenas with their eclectic, vibrant and offbeat style of music without spiraling too far down the hole of awkward German frivolity, a disease that has been haunting me all my life in this country.
MUSIC – BILDERBUCH CONCERT – SUNDAY, 3 SEPTEMBER 2017 – 9 PM – B&&B STAGE8 –
Credit: B&&B by Zalando_Bilderbuch Press 2017_© Elizaveta Porodina_Beachboys
Las but not least: B&&B is all about fashion, so it’s only right to mention that Zalando (who, despite being the host of this enormous festival, have stayed quite in the background of the 3 day agenda of B&&B) are also hosting their own A/W 17 runway show. (Bonus points: if you like what you see, you can buy it right off the virtual shelf from Zalando aka SEE NOW BUY NOW. WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE).
FASHION – ZALANDO A/W 17 – FRIDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 2017 – 8:30 PM – B&&B STAGE
I’ve tried to keep my list small and concise, but there is certainly more to discover in the schedule of Bread & Butter by Zalando 2017. Most importantly, I was surprised to see how much variety, diversity, locality and interaction there is on the menu.
10. Talk – Nike: Force is Female – Friday, 1 September 2017 – 4 PM – Festsaal
11. Party – Bass Gang x Staycore – Friday, 1 September 2017 – 1 PM – Garden Stage
12. Music – RIN Live – Sunday, 3 September 2017 – 8:30 PM – Festsaal
Buy tickets, starting from 20€ per day pass.
This post was sponsored by B&&B by Zalando.