Bringing Colour To Berlin

Berlin is for you, they said. You’ll love the style there, it’s so you. My first night out in Berlin and my blue lipstick had already been pointed at, my neon headband tugged, and my backless rainbow jumpsuit commented on.

From the Prideful flags on my shoes to the “what-the-hell-is-that” bow on my head, I’m a walking banner for colour.

Even when wearing all black, my 120 colour eyeshadow palette comes through to save the day. In Berlin, a city known for its inclusion and diversity, the streets should be a riot of colour. Yet the reality doesn’t live up to the reputation.

Even German fashion bloggers, who dedicate themselves to setting the trend for clothing and makeup, rarely step outside nudes and muted tones. Statement pieces that cost my month’s rent coupled with tight-fitting black roll necks are the staples of their wardrobes.
The everyday Berliner might live life on the edge a little with a flea market patterned jacket over the top of their black skinny jeans. The closest they get to colour is the red lines zig-zagging down their arms to interrupt the brown denim-hybrids. In a city where the side of every building is emblazoned with the colour of whatever street artist might have been passing by, the people living in it are crushingly bland.

Yet the stares and the questions whenever I add one colour too many to my OOTD are for me not to be avoided but rather enjoyed. I’ve never had more conversations with strangers than when someone stops to ask me about my “clown trousers” – essentially brightly coloured stripes – or got as many free drinks as when I dye my hair three different colours at once. If you have a loud appearance, you’ll have a loud life. Attention goes both ways, and there are days where a passing comment will get little more than an eye roll from me. Yet if Berliners want to live up to the reputation their city has of being a place for the young and the bold, they need to start branching out in their clothing. After all, an interesting conversation has never started with, “I really like your
turtleneck”.

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