T+L Reports: Bright German Things
Published: May 2009
In Hamburg, Germany's fashion capital, a small army of design-driven shops, restaurants, and hotels is challenging the old guard. Northwest of the city center, in the up-and-coming Schanzenviertel neighborhood, former costume designer and filmmaker Regine Steenbock produces fashion-forward women's wear at Sium (27 Marktstrasse; 49-40/430-7327). The line, both purist and experimental, is crafted from bold graphic prints that playfully transform objects of revulsion (such as beetles) into symbols of beauty. • Tobias Jopp and Stefan Harm, the team behind FKK (21 Hegestrasse; 49-40/4600-9041), are gaining a reputation as the country's next clothing wunderkinder. For spring, the mod styles of the 1960's served as their inspiration, with strong prints and black-and-white patterns making a comeback. • Nearby, Ella Deck (53 Lehmweg; 49-40/4128-7818) sells the romantic floral gowns and dresses that were often splashed across the Hamburg society pages in 2001—when Deck was just out of design school. • In the former Portuguese quarter, the classically trained tailor Thorsten Lewin produces made-to-order men's and women's suits from a choice of 5,000 different fabrics at Lewin (12 Rambachstrasse; 49-40/3750-0660). • The perfect restorative treat after a day spent shopping, 4Experiment Gastraum (32 Karolinenstrasse; 49-40/4318-8432; dinner for two $75) serves unusual dishes created with whatever is fresh at the markets (recently, red snapper in tom yum sauce). The four chefs prepare their back-to-basics meals in an open kitchen done up in juicy colors (tomato red, bright orange). • Come July, the retro East Hotel (31 Simon von Utrecht Strasse; 49-40/3990-8771; www.designhotels.com; doubles from $150) will welcome guests to its 78 organically influenced rooms (earth tones, natural materials), located in a former iron foundry. Just off the Reeperbahn, in the area known as Hamburg's sin mile, the hotel will anchor what is now one of the city's most stylish quarters.