Upon arriving in Berlin one of the first things I noticed was there seemed to be a lot of hat boutiques, more than I recall seeing in other cities. I saw them not only along the main pedestrian streets, but also on off-the-beaten-path ones and at flea markets.
They seemed to be everywhere.
Even though I don't wear hats, unless you include a golf visor, I do love them. Especially the vintage ones that my grandmother use to wear that are like precious works of art designed to sit on a woman's head.
Then I hit the motherlode of hat shops - Fiona Bennett. We were just aimlessly flaneuring back to the Kurfustten Train Station along Potsdamer Str. when I was stopped in my tracks by the amazing windows of the Fiona - a hand-made hat store.
I had my camera out faster than you can say "so many hats and only one head." FYI. I borrowed that line from her website.
The windows were like mini-exhibitions with the hats as the works of art. As I moved from window to window I discovered that one of the windows allowed you to look into the studio where they make the hats. I also loved the dozens of hat forms all piled up along the window - like wooden skulls.
Fiona's was a great ending to a fun day of flaneuring. For background information on Bennett click here: Fiona Bennett: A Hat Is The Icing On The Cake
I hope you like this photo essay: Flaneuring at Fiona's
And if this isn't enough to convince you that Berlin is truly the city of hats, how about the fact that their walk and don't walk traffic figures have hats. And not only that, the figures have a name Ampelmann and have become such a hit with the tourists there are three Ampelmann boutique stores.
Postdamer Gallery District
Fiona is part of the Postdamer Gallery District (see map below). We visited several galleries during the day but Fiona was far and away the best.
If you find yourself in Berlin, be sure to drop by Fiona's and perhaps order yourself a custom hat - Postdamer Str. 181-83, open Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm. More information at: Fiona