Berlin, Potsdamer Straße. Those who live in the city themselves think of traffic jams. Those who are just visiting think of the New National Gallery (if they even make it past Potsdamer Platz). Number 114 used to be home to none other than Marlene Dietrich when she was a child. Theodor Fontane spent the last years of his life in a house that has long been torn down.
Berlin, Potsdamer Straße 81. If it was more than just a street it might think a little boisterously: Isn’t this the real heart of the city? It would sigh a little dramatically because – at least for 20 meters – it has regained its elegance and a touch of big city boulevard. These 20 meters of showcases are the tender prelude, the mysterious beginning that leads to a unique cosmos. Fiona Bennett, the uncrowned queen of perfectly shaped headdresses, created a liberating space here together with her Partner Hans-Joachim Böhme that charms its visitors with hats and more.
Behind the entrance awaits a world in white – gallery and projection screen at the same time, a hundred square meters big, the ceiling seemingly sky high, the floor a wooden work of art.
This is where Fiona Bennett’s creations are balancing on racks or swinging through the air on magnets while they seduce spectators. Summer straw hats light as a feather, men’s hats without strictness, flattering knitwear from the “Kiss by Fiona Bennett“-collection. The exhibits match the design of the room: Some shine in white, others in copper, gold or silver.
Fiona Bennett’s couture – delicate and precious creations made of feathers, gloss and pearly glow – seems to float weightlessly and elegantly as it graces its own wall. The fitting takes place in a private room, still everyone gets to see how the little miracles are created in a show-workshop that provides a stage for her craft. This is where hats are pulled, shaped and sown, feathers are turned and curled and blossoms are fixed and modelled. Every single one of Fiona Bennett’s pieces is created in purely manual labour over multiple days. It is an operation full of meditative peace and quiet – a rare relic in today’s day and age. Visitors will experience the milliners at work in a spatial installation by Fiona Bennett that is just as original and charming as her work itself.