Bicultural Urbanite Luke Local Threads

Atelier Tatjana Philipp.
Atelier Tatjana Philipp. | © Lisa Lankes

Tatjana Philipp is in some ways the quintessential Berlin creative. Living in a stylised Neukölln flat and sporting a tastefully restrained collection of tattoos, the young designer draws her inspiration from elements like austere architecture and industrial music to craft sleek and timeless haute couture. She lives with two quirky cats, is partial to an extended night in the club, and works like mad on bringing her creative vision to life. She’s also one of the first people I met in Berlin.

It’s a funny thing how one settles in a foreign country on one’s lonesome. When you don’t know a single soul in town, there’s a kind of provisional, happy-go-lucky period of meeting people that can make for some interesting acquaintanceship. Notwithstanding some dubious characters intent on milling about enterally on a trust fund or two (think Edward St. Aubyn’s description of people who are “exclusively social and entirely friendless at the same time”) I was lucky enough in my early Berlin days to stumble upon some real keepers. Warm, driven people doing interesting things and dreaming big who galvanised my plans of settling here.

Utilitarian trousers with ethereal blouses

One of those aspirational personalities was Tatjana, a native Berliner whose vision I first heard about all those years ago—probably at some godforsaken party detailed over teeth-rattling bass and ear-splitting snares—is now coming to fruition with the launch of her Berlin-based clothing label.
 
Atelier Tatjana Philipp. Atelier Tatjana Philipp © Lisa Lankes
But with no shortage of aspiring fashionistas in Germany’s ultra-hip capital, Tatjana is conscious of the need to break the Berlin mould and put her individual stamp on things, contrasting utilitarian trousers with ethereal blouses and traditional tailoring with her unique delicate touch.
 
After graduating from renowned Berlin fashion school Esmod, Tatjana cut her teeth pattern making for names like OBSCUR, Haider Ackermann, and Cedric Jacquemyn, broadening her horizons for two years in Belgium’s fashion capital, Antwerp. Now back in her hometown and designing out of her atelier in West Berlin, her hard work is paying off with the launch of a debut collection that looks more like the product of a bonafide name than a fresh-faced up-and-comer.

Wearable art

The first images previewing what the label will offer are auspicious, to say the least. Combining natural fibres, detailed finishes, and sleek silhouettes, the seductive pieces exude an impressive degree of artistic control, boding well for the realisation of Tatjana’s intended brand aesthetic of “perfectly constructed garments” that are “as much pieces of art as they are wearable”.

Atelier Tatjana Philipp. © Lisa Lankes For Tatjana, it’s an exhilarating moment as she prepares to travel to Paris and unveil the fruits of her labour in the Tranoï showroom on 29 September 2018. For me, it’s heartening some eight years after arriving here—long after the dust of the initial social frenzy has settled—to see many of those who made the cut and went the distance in my life following their creative compulsions to achieve great things. It makes for a great way of vindicating my choice of staying in Berlin long term, and helps alleviate the recurrent pangs of homesickness. When you’re surrounded by people like Tatjana, who are uncompromising in making their creative dreams a reality, it’s not hard to feel you’re in the right place.