Patricia Piatke‘s signature mop of wild curls are slicked into a sleek pony and the stylist is hardly recognizable, save her megawatt smile and wicked manicure as seen on skinwalkerslove.tumblr.com

A veritable expert in transforming women and men through hair and beauty, the 29- year-old beauty beams from a Skype feed in her Kreuzberg studio as a recent client sits to her side, set in hair colour.

And, according to her ascent in the fashion world at least, it’s pretty clear she’s standing out.

With a combination of hair and makeup, Piatke cast her net on an even larger market of clients and hopes to continue to develop into a triple-threat: the total production package of hair, makeup and photo.

And even if her star is starting to shine on an international scale, she doesn’t plan on going anywhere too fast. A self-proclaimed fan of cheap rent, hard-East-wall attitude and “funny life,” Piatke said she wouldn’t give up working in Berlin for any other city just yet. “I think this is a powerful time to be a creative woman working [in Berlin].”

She thinks something else building in the fashion and art world of Berlin that’s really exciting, too, egging on an entrepreneurial “spirit of go and do” that drives her work of late.

It’s about damn time. The fashion world, in her opinion, could use a bit more of Berlin’s influence. “In German cultures, the women are really the bosses […] the ladies have power on these streets” says Piatke. But while she thinks “Berlin women in baggy jeans with big mouths” rule the urban cool, she’d like to see it catch up elsewhere.

“We’re obviously not London or Paris,” she says with a laugh. “I would say we also don’t have the thinnest models — which I like. If you work in Paris or New York you have these models that are made up of nothing at all. I think it’s good that there is still an image of women that allows women to be women here; to have shapes and individuality.”

Working around high-end fashion, Piatke says she’s really enjoyed having the chance to engage with a range of real women over her career, and see the city cultivate its own “trashy factor.”

“It’s all too perfect, too Barbie,” she laments. “Here, I would say we have a more normal picture of a woman who can be different and beautiful; more models of colour. […] The model and the real women you see on the street is not too far off from each other. We have to keep pushing that to the fashion world.”

These choices, she admits later, have a lot to do with the clients and which type of bodies they choose to connect with their brand. She gets it: marketing hacks are not so experimental. So the only chance for more diversity is to D.I.Y. Make it cool from the underground and hope that this influence will work its way up.

“This is why I do my own projects.”
On the variety of models

“I know that there has been lot of other stuff in the past (where brands play with standards of “beauty”) there was this one Levis campaign with this one ugly model from England, the guy had really bad teeth – something was going on there – slim face, round eyes, it was really shocking when you saw this guy as the face of the brand in the magazine.But that’s already four years old – but it’s funny because it still made more space for “ugly models” (to be vogue). So sometimes it’s accepted, but it’s not shocking anyone any more. I mean I think brands and companies have agencies around that tell them what to do – marketing people around telling people what to do – and they are not so experimental. If you would choose more from your intuition there would be more freaky stuff but there is a level already set out there – and so people look the same.”

By Laura Beeston

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