02/08/2018 and 01/12/2018 , Berlin

Rootless and extravagant dreamers, opinionated and unprejudiced, sharply-witted, independent and faintly narcissistic. These are the Berlin kids in all their beautiful contradictions.

#meettheberlinkids

Chapter 9:

LOUISE

I met Louise last year at the beginning of the summer, when Jake, our common friend, organised a picnic at Boxhagenerplatz. I remember telling him I was worried she couldn’t find us. He just answered back “No worries, we’ll find HER!”. Two minutes later a red-haired, tall girl in the most colourful outfit I’ve ever seen (back then), was waving at us with the cutest of smiles. He was right: missing Louise was just like missing a flamingo hiding amongst a flock of crows.

I liked her right away and immediately felt at ease. Impossible not to! Before her, I had never met somebody that could blend such an eccentric and bold look with the most down to earth, relatable and humble attitude.

Louise is the cool kid that doesn’t really seem to be aware of it, or, if she does, she never gives it away or makes you feel any less interesting. The kind of friend that buys you pizza when you’ve been drinking a bit too much on a night out, the one that doesn’t judge you even when you would deserve it, the one that pushes you out of your comfort zone, proving every time that it’s always worth it.

You are a legend, girl!

LOUISE BY LOUISE

Name: Louise O’Mahony

Nationality: Irish (But lived in UK for 32 years)

In Berlin since: March 2018

Where did you live before moving to Berlin: Brighton, UK

Profession: Fashion Designer

Dream profession: It was always to be Fashion Designer, but I believe I might find another dream in a new stage of life.

How would you describe yourself: Sociable and shy, self assured and uncertain, a happy colour-loving-rainbow-making fun machine!

Biggest inspirations: Any person who can come out of grief or trauma and remain a positive person, that hasn’t allowed their suffering to ruin and control their lives. I believe it must be one of the hardest things to do, and when I meet people that have conquered their fears I find them so unbelievably inspiring, and it puts your own life into perspective and reminds you to not be hung up on negativity or waste time with thoughts of loathing, jealousy and rage.

Favourite activities in Berlin: Meeting friends for food and coffees, parties, clubbing, cycling in the summer.

The place to be in Berlin: Summer – The daytime outdoor area of any club, or cycling through the best parks or out to a lake. Winter… I can’t say yet, as I am yet to experience it!

Your best Berlin story: I guess I just love that you never know where any day can lead. On one trip here I met up with a girl via Instagram, she took me to this wonderful exhibition of 360 moving art images, we then went to dinner and bonded so well she ended up being a friend that inspired me so much when I moved here. She posted a photo of us that night that ended up been seen by another wonderful human who also lived in Berlin who became very important to me ever since. On my way home I stopped at a bar for a drink before heading back and ended up meeting three strangers who invited me to join them and brought me along with them on a night out to more bars, ending up in a club til the early hours and they spent the evening giving me a list of the reasons I should move to Berlin.. and here I am!

Picture yourself in 10 years: Either running my fashion empire in London, or sacking everything off and living in a small town somewhere in Europe with my friends that also don’t have kids, spending my time painting and hand sewing. With a little house filled with trinkets from all my adventures, and a garden filled with flowers, that I rent out on Futuristic Air B’n’B when I go on more travels.

“I remember when I turned 30 I freaked out. Life is over and I haven’t achieved anything that I thought I was supposed to. A house, kids, a husband, a proper job… it was a few months before I realised that I didn’t actually need any of those things, and more importantly did I want them? I thought that my 30th birthday celebration would be my last until I was 40, because what’s the point of celebrating 30’s? Little did I know my 30’s would be so much better than my 20’s (and my 20’s were great!) you give way less of a shit about what people think of you which is a key player in following your dreams, doing what you want to do, and being who you want to be. And when life is so flipping fantastic it is definitely worth celebrating every year you are alive! I’m getting older and life just keeps getting better. I’m not going to stop dressing like a teenager on acid, I’m not going to stop travelling like the world is going to disappear one day, I’m not going to stop partying like it’s 1999, and I’m going to continue to enjoy this fantastic planet and the wonderful humans it has in it until the day I get hit by an ice cream truck and get buried in a glitter casket. Life could be short – make the most of it, life could be long – make sure you enjoy it, follow your heart and follow your dreams, don’t give a shit what people think about you, don’t be a twat to anyone, EVEN to the dickheads, get out of your comfort zone on a regular basis, give people compliments, hug with your hands open, travel, eat all the weird food and celebrate life whenever you can!
Alright that’s enough, I’m not Baz Lurmahn”

“Many people think I dress the way I do for attention – that’s understandable I guess, but it isn’t true. I actually don’t like attention, if more than four people start listening to a story I’m telling I can feel something uncomfortable change inside me, its like my blood feels different and my muscles tighten up. My face changes to red and my voice gets quicker to make it end sooner.
Dressing the way I do undoubtably gets me attention, whether I want it to or not, but for me, it is just what makes me feel good. Why would I wear jeans and a shirt when I can wear patterned pants and pom pom lined tops, or sequins and flowers in my hair?
Wearing colours and fun outfits changes your mood, and it can change the mood of people around you. I do really believe the world would be a happier place if everyone wore more colours. Imagine seeing a dark gray pavement, then there is a crack, and in that crack, a little flower growing out. Doesn’t that colourful flower make you happy?
Colours have literally been proven to change a persons mood for the better, its so simple that you can wear colours and change the mood of everywhere you go – why wouldn’t you?
It did take me a few years to be able to dress this way and not walk down the street feeling totally self conscious that people are looking at me. I avoided eye contact with people for a long time because the way they look at me sometimes can really hurt and effect my mood. Age also helped with this though, you really give less of a shit what people think of you. Don’t like what I’m wearing? I literally couldn’t give a fuck!
It does makes me smile when kids see me and their faces light up though! I wonder at what point in a persons life that mindset and opinion changes?
I do sometimes get some awesome moments with people telling me how much they love my style, literally running across roads to tell me I have made their day! A couple of weeks ago I was walking down the street and I saw this amazing outfit coming towards me, it put a big smile on my face, and as the girl wearing it got closer, I looked up at her, she had a huge smile at me, held up her hand to high five me as I went past, we smiled at each other with a knowing look and just kept walking!
Being in Berlin in one way makes it harder to dress as you want, because people stare here a LOT. I was unfamiliar with the “Germanic Stare Down” before arriving here, but its something you have to accept as quick as possible or else live your life here in a pool of paranoia and self consciousness.
Then in some ways it is easier – there is an interesting fashion scene here, some people are a lot braver than the UK when it comes to dressing up for going out. Its an eclectic mix of club wear mixed with basics, textured layering, fetish wear, floaty boho vibes and hipster chic with an edge. The party scene here inspires me a lot as people can really go for it, and since it is pretty much none stop, you see people in their outrageous club wear at all times of the day walking back from Berghain at breakfast, or sitting on the Metro on a Monday afternoon on the way home from Sisyphos. I see other people being brave in their fashion choices and it encourages me to do the same, and vice versa as people have told me! Hopefully we can keep the wheel spinning and momentum rolling for eccentric fashion to inspire and encourage people to give it a go and feel the joy it can bring!”
Lubitel 166+, Kodak Portra 160 (35)
Miranda Sensomat RE, Fujicolor 200 / Fuji X-tra 400 (35)

 

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October 12, 2019

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