Far from the fleeting world of trends, Rauch & Groen is Berlin’s best-kept ‘Slow Fashion’ secret. Situated in Friedrichshain’s hip boutique area- in the Gärtnerstraße- it is founded by Renata Rauch and Agnieska Olszewenska-Groen, the stylish BFF’s who have made it their mission to bring Poland’s vibrant fashion scene to Berlin. Their Motto is Slow Fashion, an approach that is decidedly at odds with today’s fast and everyday-faster fashion cycle. Slow Fashion is a growing movement, a style philosophy that stands for timeless, local produced and environmental friendly clothes. Both boutique and gallery, Rauch & Groen is the place to discover exclusive ready to wear, accessories and art- showcasing the work of young Polish fashion designers.
The vibe is inviting and positive upon entry. It might be the welcoming smile of Renata- whose knowledge of each garment is testament to the close relations the boutique holds with its designers- or perhaps it is the interior of the boutique, built around the Feng Shui philosophies of the five elements. The limited collections leave an impeccable impression, featuring contemporary labels such as Confashion featuring playful, colourful and sculptural designs, EST by Es, Messo and exclusive menswear label Reykjavik District– all hand selected by the stylish duo with an emphasis on quality and individuality.
Hard to miss are the colourful bow ties of Daniel Goletz, adding an extra luxury allure to a stylish Reykjavik District blazer or an edgy flair to a sensual feminine ensemble. Displayed at the counter is the Gdansk based Monopolka, the independent jewellery label of designer Malgorzata Szewczyk. The label offers innovative handmade jewellery with a strong modern minimalistic aesthetic, using recycled materials ranging from antlers, powdered metals sourced at Gdansk’s shipyards, silica, glass and amber- fused with colourful resin. Monopolka’s current collection includes geometric crystal shaped necklaces of powdered aluminum, with an edgy alienesque look to them. Rings can be found in bright pops of red, blue and yellow, fused with bits of copper, aluminum, marble and glass. The aluminum beetle necklace stands out, finished with polished beech wood, attached to a layered circular metal wire.
Naturally I couldn’t resist all the beautiful things around me. Taken by the allure of Monopolka, I decided I had to have a piece. Having a hard time picking one to fit my style, Renata showed me one of her personal favourites- a bright blue otherworldly resin ring fused with a big chunk of aluminum, glistening on top. Noticing my hesitation for color she convinced me “Go for blue, create contrast with colourful accessories, allowing your black wardrobe to pop out”- my very Dutch partner in crime, Pieter agrees. Okay, they couldn’t have been more right about this one. Rauch & Groen is a unique luxury experience, a lovely conversation, surrounded by clothes and art with a story. The ring will forever remind me of this beautiful boutique, its wonderful founders and the effervescence of Berlin.