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Berlin Fashion Week Guide

Its all go this week in the city of Berlin as the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week kicked off. Here is our guide to the best shows and places to see if you have a free moment between shows. Best Trade Shows:

Capsule: In a cold, industrial building in Postbahnhof, Capsule is a vivid array of colour and excited brand representatives. Featuring strongly in menswear, Capsule has and extremely relaxed environment, and the organisers welcome everyone from small time bloggers to fashion buyers. Keep an eye out for brand freebies, you’ll need a cute tote for all those catalogues, business cards and some more unusual items (last year I walked away from a brand with a tin of sardines).

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Bright: For something a little more urban, Bright offers an incredible array of street style. From skateboards to backpacks, Bright is an eclectic mix of emerging designers to big players such as Puma. With a bar just after registration, this trade show is beyond relaxed. Even if you’re not a fan of street style, it’s worth a look for the visual merchandising alone.

Show and Order: In an area named Kraftwerk sits the abandoned power station which Show and Order is held every year. Used as a venue for rock concerts, fashion shows and raves, this building is truly at the heart of the Berlin night life scene. During fashion week it opens its doors to a range of companies from across the globe, and from a range of fashion genres. Brand catalogues here are usually very good quality, so grab a few if you have a good creative eye. Watch out for free cupcakes and champagne too.

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Shows on a larger scale include Premier, Panorama and Bread and Butter, but these can be difficult to get into without an industry connection.

Whilst in Berlin it would be an absolute crime not to try some traditional food. Bratwurst sausage is available in nearly every cafe and street vender in the city, so you are bound to find one that you like. If alternative dining is more your style head to Potsdamer Platz. Just behind the Sony centre is a food court, with an amazing Australian bar serving fancy cocktails and a wonderful, if slightly adventurous Kangaroo salad. Finding good food isn't hard in a city as big as Berlin, there is really something for every taste.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Berlin without seeing some of the sites. If you are in a learning mood, the Brandenburg Gate is a must see. You can even get your passport stamped here by a World War Two officer. Just around the corner is the Reichstag, with incredible views over the city from its glass domed roof. If you want to really absorb the history in Berlin, head around the corner to the stunningly heartbreaking  Jewish Memorial, to celebrate the lives of those who were lost in what was one of the worst wars in history.

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On a lighter note, a short metro ride from there is Berlin Zoo. A day can easily be spent here, so make sure you have seen all of your shows! With elephants, and sometimes baby ones, greeting you at the gate, this is an incredible day out to give you a break from fashion. Be warned, you will lose track of time here, especially looking at the giraffes.

Berlin Fashion Week may not be the biggest in the world, but it has a true sense of community and welcomes everyone from all areas of the industry. If you want to get ahead in fashion and learn about up and coming brands and designers, this truly is the place to head too.

Contributor: Sarah Stothard