One of the best things about meeting new people is that you suddenly explore parts of you you’d previously left in a corner, experience things that other people like- in other words, you try new stuff.
That’s what I did when I went on a weekend adventure to Frankfurt to explore the IAA and all the shiny goodies that lay beyond the Messe’s impressive doors. The size of everything was unprecedented; the chic, goddess-like height of the financial district’s designer architecture, the sheer, gutsy amount of stuff inside the Messe from the amount of cars, to the amount of mirrors used for displays to the amount of hanger-like exhibition halls the venue contains. And, I must say, the size of the red light district.
It was busy. All the big players were there. I queued for the Audi room, entirely bedecked with mirrors- the ceiling reflecting video footage of an Audi racing round city streets- the girls were all in matching white dresses, with Audi leather belts and clutch bags designed with the same leather as the car seats. It was like being in a popular night club, and the cars were the celebrities, people clamoring round them, a lucky few boys (all too young to rightfully be looking at the price of car they were), had slipped through the VIP tape and stood in slim-fit suits drooling over their potential new toys, while dad- in slightly less slim fit suit- gazed over approvingly and discussed ‘figures’ with the dealer.
BMW was a hit too, with cars circling above and around us like gulls, the multi-layered viewing paradise showing every angle of the sleek beasts, the interior a cooling blue in keeping with the gorgeous i8 which really caught my eye (I do need to learn to drive first though). The other sex-icons I found at show included the Peugeot Onyx, every single Landrover and the Jaguar F-Type which was curled up in an understated corner, purring luxuriously to itself. In some ways it was more like a music festival than a concept car shows; the VW showroom and the general buzzing space around the ‘modest’ Ferrari display piece- complete with bouncer, sofas and drinks- were exceptional candidates. People elbowed each other out of the way, commando crawled through forests of legs to get sought-after pictures, dripped sweat on one another in the over heated bunker; I was highly impressed with the commitment to the Auto industry.
Mercedes, with a permanent hall belonging to them, oozed luxury. It was a cross between an opera and a catwalk, cars gliding down a run way onto a stage that could be viewed from three separate levels. People were stood and sat three deep watching the generously proportioned creations roll sedately by. The great thing about the IAA was that I knew I wasn’t the only one in there not looking to buy a car, in fact, I’d say I was in the majority who had just come on a cheap ticket to oggle, drool and generally soak up an atmosphere of luxury meets innovation. This is Fashion Week for people who would never go to a fashion week– this is engineering fashion week and it’s no less glamorous. There are models, there are women’s volley ball teams outside, speakers pumping chart songs, and occasionally opera, mood lighting, super cars slung across the tarmac and the design power that has gone into this equals and surpasses that in all the fashion weeks put together. Art bred with Technology and had an exotic, celebrity child the size of two stadiums. Monumental.
All photos have been provided by AJFStuart Photography