Nuit blanche.


In 2002, my friend Julia and I went to Berlin, we strolled around, went to museums, to all those architectural gems on Museumsinsel, had lots of fun, met a colleague of Julia’s when we had tea at the Adlon, the city’s most distinguished hotel at the time, he was staying there during a film production for a TV commercial, the client apparently being very generous, imagine his surprise when he saw us there, comforted by all this utter luxury, having tea and cake, served with dozens of splendid silver tea and hot water pots, silver milkers and a multitude of silver etageres for petits fours, sugar diversities and other stuff, with a strange vacuous expression on our faces after walking and talking for hours, we must have seemed liked bored habitués on their honeymoon, with nothing particular to do on an afternoon, and so we told him about some sort of necessary sudden marriage, leaving him so covered with confusion that he bumped into one of the Adlon waiters. Later in the day, our spirits high again, we sat for hours at the Literaturhaus Café on Fasanenstrasse, dining and drinking, until not only were we sat on the streets after closing hours but our last train to Hamburg had left, too. We were stranded. Stranded in Berlin. We walked up and down Kurfürstendamm, and all of the side streets, void of people at this time of night, discussing every single item of the displayed clothing, jewellery and shoes in extenso, with an air of hoboes, some tramps into style, desperate with no place to go, at least until the first train to Hamburg would take us back. In the middle of the night, Jil Sander’s windows offered some light at least, her flagship store was bright as hell, and Milan Vukmirovic, the designer in charge at the time, obviously had a thing for lovers that summer collection of 2002, the lettering came on t-shirts and in even larger lettering in the flagship store’s window. Julia put me just next to it and took a shot with her camera, quite appropriately so, as I was wearing my beloved ice blue Jil Sander jacket, I wore it to death, and I still miss it, I couldn’t even throw it away when it was no longer wearable, damaged by being way too often in the washing machine’s wool wash cycle, I hate dry cleaning just as much as Paul Smith, but its ice blue colour was prone to smudging, it’s been buried for years in my parents’ attic, in some suitcase, anyway, at the time it was still new and it suited me well enough to make me feel like just the sort of lover Milan Vukmirovic had in mind when designing the collection. At least that’s what I firmly believed. Julia never contradicted me. And women, as we all know, know it all.

2 thoughts on “Nuit blanche.

  1. Berlin is the perfect city for nuits blanches, don’t you think? It really becomes a special place and I’m not surprised that Helmut Newton was so inspired by it after dark. Kurfuerstendamm is so beautiful and elegant. I love the fact that you passed the time by looking in the shop windows there and having long discussions about what you saw – true sophistication indeed. But then, Proust’s narrator could lose himself for hours looking at a rail timetable, imagining the different places and the poetry of their names. As I keep telling you, I notice many similarities. And then the photo is so wonderful – not only does the pale background fit the title of your article but it really does look like a fashion advertisement with you modelling. I will think of you on Ku’damm when I pass its elegant buildings this week.

    Liked by 2 people

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