“If you’ve ever stood in line to get into Berghain… I like to think of the account as a mood board of the people waiting to get in.”
Though it’s understandable that an account like this doesn’t already exist – given you’d be a dead cert for refusal if you were caught scouring the queue for looks, with your smartphone in hand – @pretendboys is the IG that aims to get as close as possible to the line at Berghain without actually being there.
“It’s a mixed bag, but generally I feel like the aesthetic is Body Music meets streetwear meets upscale runway dance-floor house punk,” the person who runs @pretendboys, who wishes to remain anonymous, explains.
“I spend a lot of time scouring the Internet for images – it’s something I was doing long before I started the account,” @pretendboys continues. “When I first started I was pulling from images I’d saved to my phone over the years. Now, I look for images in a number of places: Tumblr and fashion websites are two big ones. I honestly spend a lot of time on Tumblr; it’s easy for me to fall down a rabbit hole on that platform.”
Look over the feed and you’ll find plastic platforms on fire, nu-rave contact lenses in bloodshot eyes, and homages to the likes of Blade Runner and Raf Simons – plus a dash of Paris Hilton for your nerve.
“I guess for me the account is a bit escapist and about visual pleasure,” they continue, explaining that it doesn’t matter what sources these images really come from, and that the most incompatible images often make the most visually pleasing mix. “The aesthetic is kind of saturated and sensual. I hope that other people experience that kind of visual pleasure from the images, too. To me, the page is also definitely about celebrating diversity.”
Like any good Berghain attendee @pretenboys knows that visual inspiration can be found in all corners. From fashion: “I love designers like Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester, Helmut Lang and Issey Miyake. Lately, I’ve been really into A-COLD-WALL*, Fenty x Puma, Unravel, Alyx and most recently Heliot Emil.”
Also on their list are a number of slightly more obscure reference points: “images of cars, baby animals, or even weapons and true crime. I also regularly look at Discogs and find images there. One of the more unusual sources has been the website of an Evangelical radio station, which I stumbled upon and where I ended up finding a number of images that I loved.”
For many of us, dressing to get into Berghain is a daunting task. Should you go all black? Should you keep your sunglasses on? Is this beret too much? Will they know this kinda cool top is actually from Brandy Melville? If you’re ever stuck, take a scroll through @pretendboys. These looks will take you right to the front of the queue and straight past Sven. Maybe.