I felt a rush of excitement like a jet blast walking through the Tempelhof building for this summer's Bread and Butter 'tradeshow for selected brands' event. It was back in 2008 that planes stopped flying in and out of Berlin's old 'city airport', but as I trailed through the old check in area, behind a swarm of other people, the place resembled a fully operating airport, complete with a 'departure information' board now displaying B&B information and a luggage conveyor belt on which Eastpak bags travelled round.
The sheer size of the event is overwhelming. I know, it's a former airport so they have a lot of room to play with, but there was a world of fashion in there. Each of 600 exhibiting brands had an impressive set-up, from Lonsdale's traditional British pub setting to Havaiana's chilled beanbag pad. Sections included sportswear, street fashion, urban superior, the Treasury (for accessories), heritage and denim sections – not to mention the large space outdoors with the music stage and yet more plush bars and seating areas.
Now in it's eleventh year, Bread and Butter boasts some of the most well-known brands such as Adidas, Pepe Jeans, Dr. Martens and Barbour, as well as a mixture of strong contemporary or emerging brands like Papp Up, For All Mankind, Emmy and Bread & Boxers. For every old, classic favourite was a new unheard-of discovery, and yet everything was oozing quality, style and class. There was no pretentiousness or better-than-thou atmosphere; a powerful international label could sit side by side with modest handmade Swedish designs and everything was just rosy.
The whole thing kicked off with a bang, the glamorous Summer Nights opening party a feast for the eyes with dancers, music and a catwalk show. With the multitude of exciting brands, new SS13 collections and an array of sights (haystacks, beach bars and waterfalls, anyone?), it was a total hit – I could have probably spent a week there chilling out, dancing, scouring all the stalls and still be just as enthusiastic about the whole thing.
The next B&B takes place in January 2013, go to www.breadandbutter.com/ for more information.