Forget Paris and London: Berlin is the new mecca for those in search of cutting-edge fashion. Drawn by low rents and a pumping avant-garde underground music and art scene, young designers and the old guard (Vivienne Westwood teaches a master class at the Academy of Art and Hedi Slimane of Christian Dior rents an apartment) are flocking to Berlin, giving rise to a remarkable homegrown fashion scene. Gone are the days of Hamburg-based minimalist German designers like Jil Sander. The new Berlin-based fashion crowd is self-confident and experimentalsome are calling it a return to the golden age of Berlin in the roaring 1920s. The main shopping drags of Kurfürstendamm and Friedrichstrasse have all the popular international heavy-hitters (Gucci, Escada), but the real Berlin look requires a trip off the beaten path.