I've always wondered why a country as wealthy as Germany has such a curious relationship with fashion. And, walking back towards my hotel after dinner, I was reminded of an interesting contradiction. Hamburg is not a city of poverty, as evidenced by the glitzy stores on Neuer Wall, and yet Germans do casual in a way which makes you wonder who actually shops in them.
Now, you may be thinking, where does Mark get off, having a go at our German friends in such a way, after all, I'm not exactly an advert for haute couture either. It is a puzzle though.
The Italians and the Spanish seem to dress better than the Northern Europeans, although the Dutch do formal pretty well, so it can't be that simple. The British have a reputation for men's fashion, which we've exported quite successfully. But the German contribution to fashion? That's a bit harder to find.
Oh yes, there is Adidas, but that's sportswear, which doesn't really help much, and there are some interesting jackets which Ros wouldn't let me wear outside the house - or in it, for that matter - but why is it that such a wealthy, populous country, capable of building a thing of beauty like a Porsche, seem to make so little impression on the fashion scene?
Ah well, perhaps someone out there can explain it to me...