Angel Lili Marlene: Esther Perbandt

A lovely short time in the Paris collections rush: the bags and accessories private sale of a Berliner fashion designer, Esther Perbandt. I come late in the cosy small press office of her Parisian agent.


A tall dark-haired girl with a Louise Brooks fringe leads me to a room full of white, black, silver, bags and jewels and chains. Esther, for me: Esther-Lili Marlene! Then starts an absolutely improvised interview. Blue Angel talks an irresistible English (like mine I suppose!) and uses an impeccable French to precise. Her fingers play with a white wine glass. I’ve always liked a lot  Berlin, German Expressionism, Krafwert, Inspector Derrick and Charming.

– Berlin has changed for 5 years. In West Berlin (surrounded by East Germany) we were really living like in island and I always have the feeling to be “someone” special. Most of Berliners feel it too. When the wall felt, I was fourteen. I went with my hammer and I picked some pieces of the wall with graffiti. It’s so unique, strange. 

Dear Berlin ! Esther-Lili Marlene is a tough gir of Berlin: “the rough way we talk, slangish Berlin”. The Berliner knows well Paris: in 2001 she is graduate of IFM, the French Institut of Fashion. Then she moves to the South of France, to work as an assistant designer at Chacok:

– It was really a big challenge.

Esther loves black, white and very few colors, like this really light yellow. She « jumps in the cold water » and creates her brand in 2003, with a first women’s collection « it’s not  really super pointu, it’s – quand même – avant-garde ».

– My style : a contrast between feamal and male aspect. Fluent drappy, soft sharp or line. Just this is boring. I always have to break it with male aspect : stacking up shirts, straight lines. Really rock heavy chains and leather. And Viscose and silk and coton. It might be sexy, but not “premier degré”.  The « sexy » way of Perbandt : a strong personality, unusual beauty, woman’s laugh.

– Maybe, I’m describing myself.

She has a pensive look at her wine glass, then spruce again :

– Black sheep, was my collection of this summer. I’ve always considered myself as black sheep. My « organic » father has a big sheep farming. 

– Winter Garden, my last collection (Fall-Winter 2008-2009) is the best. It’s a breath, freedom. I used to be called « Bird ». Birds are eveywhere in this collection. I can really identify myself in each pieces. The right balance between commercial and pointu (edgy).

– I live and work in Berlin. And my bags are produced in East Germany, but my customers are not Berliner. German don’t pay attention of what they put on, but I’m selling a lot in Japan.

And also in Paris, at Musée des Arts Décoratifs (jewels), Germany, Danemark, Italy, Switzerland and Canada. In her 2008 wishlist, she fills a commercial agent, a financier and an assistant.

And When Angel Lili Marlene-Esther Perbandt stays in Paris :

– I like to sleep, have a  glass of white wine at cheap brasserie, watch people concerning to their look and beautifull small guys. French guys are small, aren’t they ?

Common big laugh : I miss Berlin, a kind of tough simplicity. The angel’s gone. Thank you Esther ! Maybe to be continued in Berlin… 


Related posts : 

Meeting Esther Perbandt in her shop in Mitte, Berlin  



One response to “Angel Lili Marlene: Esther Perbandt

  1. J’aime tes papiers mode : spontanée, simple et sans chichi !!! J’aime ça ! L’ authenticité !

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