Tel: 49 351 48 18500
Here you'll find new and vintage watches by the kingly and über-expensive A. Lange & Söhne brand. The shop is intimate in scale and features a limited selection, but what it has is spectacular, including the "Saxonia" model, which features a unique date-revealing mechanism that reproduces the clock at the Semper Opera House, all for a modest $17,700.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 am to 8 pm.
Tel: 49 89 213 50
Long a local landmark (and familiar across Germany from its coffee commercials), Dallmayr's elegant yellow facade features arched windows with a display of tempting comestibles. Wine, tea, coffee, chocolate, and cigars are all on offer behind the glass; inside is a high-end food market on a par with Paris or Rome, with the added bonus of a huge wurst counter. Prepared foods, condiments, and the famous coffee, the smell of which is omnipresent in the store, are the specialties of the house. A café upstairs serves snacks, while the ground-floor Champagne and oyster bar and a full-service restaurant make the shop a destination in itself.
Tel: 49 30 280 42253
More like an art installation that also happens to sell clothes than a conventional retail store, Apartment epitomizes the new haute Berlin fashion happening in the former eastern part of the city. The street entrance is an empty white space with a steel staircase leading down to a barely lit basement, where a black lacquered table displays a few (mainly black) wares while classical music or 70s art-rock fills the air. For those avant enough for €290 ($427) high-top sneakers in red leather from Common Projects, or a black wool coat from Undercover for €1100 ($1622), this is Nirvana. The staff seems culled from the lower tier of anonymous pretty-boy rock bands and their groupies, but the atmosphere is pleasantly no-pressure.
Mondays through Fridays 12 to 8 pm, Saturdays 12 to 6 pm.
89 Frankfurter Alle
Tel: 49 30 420 81445
Since it opened, the Berlinomat, a mini department store in the heart of up-and-coming Friedrichshain, has become the ultimate one-stop-shop for Berlin design. In addition to their own label, "Hotinaf," the owners, Jörg Wichmann and his partner, Theresa Meirer, stock more than 150 Berlin-based designers (Icke Berlin, Presque Fini, Nix, Magaco), with products ranging from clothing and jewelry to furniture. The cavernous, light-filled 3,000-square-foot space is minimalist and white; the eclectic merchandise adds color and atmosphere.
Tel: 49 30 275 96566
Designer Ines Kaag and her partner, Desiree Heiss, have a decidedly avant-garde approach: Each collection is based on a concept, and the results are more art than fashion. Their playfulsometimes surrealline of clothing and accessories experiments with structure and form, often undermining the very function of the item itself. For example, the 1999 limited-edition "hairbrush" was a brush made of just thathair. A more recent collection took segments of cloth from other well-known clothing chains, like H&M and Levi's, and reconstructed them as scarves. Most of the limited-edition items sell out quickly and become collector's items.
40 Französische Strasse
Tel: 49 30 206 70940
The Corner is Berlin's small, high-end department store. The entrance features a book and magazine section stocking what seems like every Assouline title ever published; then come watches and accessories and, finally, the clothes. Women's dresses, skirts, tops, and jackets come from names like Balenciaga, Fendi, and Zac Posen, starting in the high three figures and going way, way up from there. For men, a somewhat more insouciant, rich-kid-in-sneakers attitude prevails, as exemplified by Rick Owen black suede high-tops for €795 ($1,170), balanced out by elegant jackets and shirts by Kilgour and Lanvin. The staff of offbeat-looking beauties is surprisingly helpful.
Mondays through Fridays 10:30 am to 7:30 pm, Saturdays 10 am to 7 pm.
14 Alte Schönhauserstrasse
Tel: 49 30 2404 8682
A dandy's paradise, this ultra-hip shop offers the sharpest suits around. The first half of the 20th century is the main source of inspiration for both men's and women's wear, with winter collections that nod to Weimar Berlin, and summer clothes that pay homage to prewar resortwear. For the former, striking silhouetted overcoats and narrow-lapeled smoking jackets evoke Marlene Dietrich; slim summer suits in wool and linen are reminiscent of bygone photos of Cap Ferrat or Odessa. Prices aren't bargain-basement—most men's suits, including waistcoat, circle around 500 euros ($680), but this is a bargain for couture-level elegance with elegant tailoring and fine fabrics, as well as a break from brand-name, monochromatic minimalism.
43 Neuer Wallstrasse
Tel: 49 40 374 129 0
Offering up three full floors of luxury minimalist womenswear, this boutique was local designer Jil Sander's flagship and supposedly carries the label's entire line. Though colors have gotten brighter in recent years, Sander's trademark remains elegant, no-frippery cuts and fine fabrics, in collections that are made to mix and match. Recent years have brought business misfortunes, including an unhappy buyout in spring 2006 (and recent resale) by Prada. Her minimalist line continues, however, in the capable hands of Belgian designer Raf Simons. Not for the faint of wallet: There is no "bridge" line of affordable fashions with Sander's name on it, so be prepared for extraordinary prices.
11 Neuer Wall, 11 Alsterarkaden
Tel: 49 40 341 414
Advertising its stock-in-trade as "English men's clothing," Hamburg's old-time Anglophilic side finds its highest (and stiffest-upper-lip) expression in this 162-year-old boutique. Now carrying womenswear as well, Ladage & Oelke could be considered a haute-retro throwback—very conservative, hand-tailored leisure and businesswear is on offer in luxurious fabrics, including tweeds. Wear it ironically or take it seriously as one of the few places in Germany where you can buy "correct" clothing.
Tel: 49 30 88 62 76 01
For what it would cost you to have a couple of prix-fixe meals, you can start a collection of fine-art photography at this gallery. The terrific stable of master and young artists who display here includes Bernd & Hilla Becher (who schooled a new master generation at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art), Jürgen Teller; and "GeoArt" landscape photographer Bernhard Edmaier.
Tel: 49 40 300 877 43
Located in the Rote Chilehaus, a prewar Expressionist building with tall, angular lines, this cult emporium's mission is to sell the most "authentic" version of everyday items, no matter how obscure their origin. From clothing to corkscrews to meat slicers, wares are mainly old-fashioned and look like a history of 20th-century design. Pricey but fascinating stuff.
Tel: 49 89 235 459 00
Right next to Dallmayr is the local branch of Germany's funkiest and most cultish chain store (other branches are in Berlin and Hamburg). This outlet is more elegant than its cousins, a deep, columned hall that morphs from kitchenware to clothing to office supplies as you walk through it. Manufactum's somewhat pretentious motto loosely translates to "There are still good things in the world," but the place is piled high with oddities and best-of-class objects from manual typewriters to enameled pots and staplers. An extensive papeterie and clothing section feature goodies from all over the world, and the Brot & Butter food shop in the front of the store has obscurely sourced condiments as well as fresh-baked country bread that is simply to die for.
Hilton Dresden Hotel
5 An der Frauenkirche
Tel: 49 351 86 42964
The best place in Dresden to buy the famous local porcelain is in a boutique stuck in one of the wings of the otherwise anonymous Hilton hotel. The porcelain on display is hand-painted and created in a labor-intensive process, reflected in its exorbitant cost ($3,540 for a tea set, anyone?). Traditional bowls, vases, and tea accessories, as well as figurines that look straight out of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale, dominate the shelves.
Open daily 9:30 am to 7 pm (closes at 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday).
Tel: 49 351 45 68717
Sophisticated clothes for ladies who lunch. Anchoring the Quartier Frauenkirche shopping center, this boutique features the grand old names of German couture, impeccably tailored and expensive. You'll find everything from fox stoles to leather handbags, with names such as Rena Lange (a $3,680 skirt-suit), Trixi Schober (fur-collared eveningwear), and Iris von Arnim (tailored woolens for the horsey set). Service is unexpectedly warm and friendly for this level of luxury.
Open daily 10 am to 8 pm.
79 Bautzner Strasse
Tel: 49 351 80 80 80
Pfunds calls itself "the most beautiful milk shop in the world," and the claim seems quite plausible. The interior is as intricate and ornate as the Zwinger galleries or the Semper Opera—a mosaic of antique porcelain tiles, mainly in blue and white, covers the walls, ceiling, and virtually every surface, resembling a heavily frescoed mini-palace. True to its name, the shop sells milk products and souvenirs downstairs, including fresh milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter. Upstairs is a sit-down restaurant that's slightly less thrilling (and rather conventionally decorated), with a menu that's heavy on cheese (fondue, Râclette, cheesecake, etc.). Stop by for a quick snack downstairs and just take in the interior—the shop is out of the Inner Neustadts pedestrian zone, but it's worth the walk.
Open daily 10 am to 6 pm.
Tel: 49 30 246 27751
Ralf Hensellek and Thomas Mrozek, the two designers behind the Thatchers label, are among Berlin's breakout stars, and their clothes are gaining a following elsewhere in Europe, including Paris. With a design ethos promulgating a sexy but not vulgar look, they aim to please professional women between 25 and 40 with well-constructed, body-hugging, clean-lined suits and dresses. Followers of the Bauhaus-era principle of reducing ornamentation to a minimum, they choose their decorative flourishes carefully.
Tel: 49 89 224 845
Separate women's and men's boutiques (women's on Maffeistrasse, men's in the nearby Theatinerhof off Theatinerstrasse) that feature a limited, well selected collection of seasonal fashions from big designers. Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent and the ubiquitous Prada are all represented here, though often only by a few choice items. Beyond clothing, the store features luggage, shoes, and accessories, all on a manageable and intimate scale.
Tel: 49 40 327 172
Located in an ancient building straight out of a Brueghel painting, this boutique is where Hamburg's young rich buy up fashion-forward names such as Comme des Garçons, rather than their parents' hunting-wear and Jil Sander. Eccentricity is indulged, especially by the store's own label. For an additional twist, the brand sponsors an internationally known skateboard park nearby.
Tel: 49 30 283 913 37
The handmade shoes crafted at Trippen have passed the test of Berlin's perilous cobblestone streets since 1994. The mission: use ecologically friendly materials to create anatomically friendly designs. The results: whimsical-looking, fun, but totally functional shoes with colorful leather uppers and soles often carved from oak, beech, and poplar. A staggering 200 or so models for men and women sport some form-revealing names: The Scorpion has a leather strap that rises from behind to wrap around the ankle; the Mug has handles on the heels for easy carrying when you want to go barefoot.
Tel: 49 89 223 292
This Venice-based shoe and accessories boutique is more reasonably priced, and certainly more distinctive, than its high-end neighbors on Maximilianstrasse. Funky women's pumps, many decorated with a skull-and-crossbones motif (costing around $300), and exotic animal-skin bags are the rule in the Maximilianstrrasse side of the store; across a passage is a unisex boutique with shirts, dresses and accessories.
Tel: 49 89 220 871 0
For every woman who has been dreaming her whole life of a dirndl, or every man with an eye toward acquiring some choice lederhosen, Wallach is paradise. This is Munich's spot for traditional clothing, including fancy hand-embroidered country dresses as well as riding gear (loden wool coats with leather trim are not uncommon sights on local women of a certain age), luggage, Tyrolean hats, and accessories. It's as "authentic" and antimodern a store as you're likely to find in Europe, even if the clothes are not exactly typical for a night on the town.
Tel: 49 30 2804 0585
Berlin-based Wolfgang Joop designs clothes that are breathlessly expensive but fun, free from convention, and just the thing to wear to the Berlin International Film Festival. The menswear tends toward a surreal version of The Great Gatsby, as in structured madras jackets festooned with collars doubled with satin. Women's looks are part boudoir and part art school: Lace-up corsets are sewn over worsted-wool glen plaid dresses, which are in turn distressed by some kind of tie-dyeing process. It's all produced by the Italian firm Roscini, so buyers can be assured that their fantasy garb has serious old-world craftsmanship underneath. The shop itself continues the theme of wondrous extravagance, with walls of plate glass and enormous slabs of bulbous aluminum that seem to have escaped from a Jeff Koons show.—Ralph Martin