In a collaboration between Czech Tourism and the Falkensteiner Hotel Maria Prag, a blogger and press trip to the “Golden City” was facilitated on the occasion of the Mercedes Benz Prague Fashion Week. Maximilian Dammann was there for us and has provided us with his report!
Film, Fashion, Falkensteiner
As a self-employed hair and make-up artist who runs an Instagram Channel on the side and also works as a model sometimes, I much appreciated the invitation extended to me by Falkensteiner, giving me the opportunity to attend the blogger and press trip as a “reporter”. During my stay, I took over management of the Falkensteiner Instagram Channel and will now be presenting you my little travel diary.
Travelling by bus, I arrived at "Praha hlavní nádraží", the Czech capital city’s main train station, straight from the Prague airport. The Falkensteiner Hotel Maria Prag is only a few steps away from there, so that getting there was an absolute breeze.
After arriving on Friday evening, the first thing I did was check into my room. A little sitting area and a large, comfortable double bed awaited me. Apart from that, I was provided a warm #WelcomeHome complete with fresh fruit, chocolates, a little bottle of wine, and a personal note from General Manager, Claudio Sturm.
Since I was enormously hungry from the long trip, I immediately set out to find a restaurant. The choice is very wide: several little bars and public houses are dotted around just a few minutes’ walk away from the hotel.
With its typical Czech decor, the restaurant "Bredovský Dvůr" appealed to me the most: Featuring large copper brewing kettles and a brick-vaulted ceiling with various seating areas and even a winter garden. Despite it being Friday evening and the bar being fairly busy, I got a table quickly. The selection of food was very good, too, including everything from typical European to traditional Czech dishes. I opted for the chicken schnitzel with boiled potatoes. While not traditionally Czech, it was certainly very well prepared and scrumptious.
Exhausted from the trip, I headed back to the hotel and straight to bed right after dinner.
The next morning began with breakfast in the hotel. And just a glance at the buffet was enough to astonish me: many varieties of bread, pastries, croissants, cake, cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, various types of cold meats and cheese, freshly made pancakes, coffee specialties, tea varieties, and much more… There aren’t many city hotels that can match that kind of choice!
Following a brief stroll to the Vltava, the actual programme began. I was particularly looking forward to meeting the other bloggers and journalists, because I am always excited to meet new people. The friendly Yvette from Czech Tourism was always at our side. She was our escort, city guide, and interpreter. How very handy to be in the company of someone who knows the ins and outs of the city and the language.
Following an initial welcome and a few drinks and snacks, we took public transport to the illustrious Barrandov Filmstudios. We were welcomed there by Zuzana who led us through the sprawling and fascinating grounds. We started our tour at the main building which features an exhibit of various film scenes, costumes, and props dating from the past decades.
On the other side of the premises, we ventured into the film studio’s “treasure chest” which was my highlight of the day: the props room.
You can’t begin to imagine all the things we saw there! First furniture, furnishings, and stage props from all periods. There was everything there, from a large, heavy dinner table to countless salt and pepper pots.
The second props room held costumes, shoes and jewellery. As a fashion buff and aesthete, I always thought I had a lot of shoes and clothes. But what I saw there, made even my jaw drop. And then, to crown it all, the costume designers “laced” us into Baroque period clothing and we were permitted to do an exclusive photo shoot in our outfits.
Then in the evening we enjoyed the vegetarian cooking of the "Lehká Hlava - Clear Head" restaurant – a welcome change to the otherwise rather meat- and dumpling-centric cuisine in Prague and well worth the visit. It was utterly adorable and snugly furnished. The ceiling featured a faux starry night sky and little Buddha statues dotted the room. The selection of dishes was very wide, so that it was not that easy to find something. Finally, I decided on the “Red Curry” with fresh vegetables and tofu, a true, yet spicy culinary treat.
The next day, after breakfast, we started out on our remarkable guided city tour: A make-up artist from Prague took us on a tour and showed us many parts of the city and the hip boutiques of the trendy designers. By the way, the hotel is not at all far away from Wenceslas Square, which is just the right place to spend money for shopaholics like me. ;)
Starting out from Wenceslas Square, we criss-crossed many tiny streets, finally reaching the city centre with the well-known Church of Our Lady Before Týn, the old Town Hall and the Astronomical Clock – the classical tourist hotspot, which, of course, we didn’t want to miss on our tour.
We were free to spend the afternoon at our own discretion. Some of us extended their sightseeing tour to Charles Bridge and Prague Castle, while the others, including me, headed out to the shops! The evening held the next highlight in store for us: Our visit to the Mercedes Benz Prague Fashion Week was on the agenda!
As soon as we arrived at the #MBPFW, we immediately began taking pictures. Everyone pulled out their smartphones and began capturing all the impressions. We were also given the opportunity to chat with MBPFW CEO Lukáš Loskot in the VIP Lounge. The current designer collections were exhibited in the adjacent pop-up store, and were available to see and feel them from up close.
We were also given leave to access the backstage area, which accommodated the hair- and make-up department. The girls in our troop explored the backstage area enthusiastically, in wide-eyed wonder. As I am a hair- and make-up artist, this was nothing new for me, yet it is always fascinating to see how different things are from city to city and show to show.
After our behind-the-stage glimpse, we had opportunity to watch the CHATTY runway show – first row baby. ;) We marvelled at the exciting fabrics, designs and patterns, and the music contributed a party atmosphere.
Afterwards, we went to a restaurant serving typical Czech cuisine: U Pinkasů – meat, dumplings, and sweet desserts as far as the eye could see.
On our last morning in Prague, we had the honour of having breakfast with designers and responsible MBPFW managers and to talk about current trends, working as a designer, and the fashion industry in Prague. Of course, I found it highly intriguing to learn where designers get their inspiration from and how they ultimately decide on the styling for the catwalk.
As a perfect conclusion, we were given opportunity to visit the CHATTY designers personally in their store and were again given permission to ask questions.
And with that, the “official” programme came to an end – the days in Prague had flown by in no time. The "AE - Airport Express" took me from the main train station to the airport in approx. half an hour for a fare of only 60Kc, so approx. € 2,20. The ride was utterly relaxing. I spent the time daydreaming and reviewing the past few days… I was simply absorbed in my positive thoughts and experiences. I entered the airport with a smile on my face and checked in. So long Prague – hello again Düsseldorf!