With a fire for Berlin life and a creative flair, Julia has gained recognition for her culinary endeavours, singing prowess and all-round zest for life, all whist celebrating her Polish roots. Having moved to Berlin over six years ago the Warsaw native has set the city alight with her drive and creative intuition, being the mind and voice behind Polish Thursday Dinners.
We were thrilled to collaborate with her on our latest shoot in West Berlin and teamed up with the lovely hair & make-up artist Kaya Rose Birch. Julia chose her favourite designs from Studio183, showcasing her elegantly cool style against the backdrop of Berlin’s rich, cultural history.
Julia, you moved from Warsaw to Berlin five years ago. What makes Berlin your city of choice?
I actually moved to Berlin over six years ago, in January 2011. I dreamed of moving abroad since I was a teenager. Because my aunt studied art in Berlin, I came here for the first time in 2004. It made a huge impression on me; it felt so free and diverse, a bit trashy but at the same time beautiful and modern. Nothing like provincial Warsaw.
Since 2004 I came to Berlin every year, just for shopping and walking around with my mom. I remember that every time I stepped out of the train, I thought: man, I feel so good here!
So after I finished high school in 2010 I decided to move to Berlin and study here. The only problem was, I didn’t know any German so I had to start from scratch. I didn’t know anyone in Berlin and no one knew me. Berlin gave me the chance to discover myself, I found my way here, I realised what I want and who I am. It especially made me realise where I come from.
All these things make Berlin my hometown. Now, I feel more Berliner than Warsawian and because of that, I can see my country and my roots from a different perspective and get inspired by them and not suffocated. I can be creative. I can be myself. However, the most important thing that made me choose Berlin is the diversity of people and cultures. It’s like a small world in one place. I love it!
As a jazz singer and successful creative culinary event directrice of “Polish Thursday Dinners“, how would you describe your personal and professional development?
If you asked me six years ago what my life will be like, I probably wouldn’t respond with, “promoting Polish culture, cooking and singing in Berlin.” When I came to Berlin, I wanted to be a journalist as I loved literature and writing. I didn’t speak any German so I had to learn it from zero to academic level. I completed it within one year whilst au pairing. A few times dealing with creepy situations, battling, escaping, moving from one apartment to another, but finally in October 2012 I started studying American studies at JFK Institute.
Meanwhile I met my ex who pulled me into the real Berliner life, events, parties and supper clubs. I organised all these things with him, I opened a little restaurant with him, I changed studies and at the end of 2013 I founded PTD and started singing. Singing was a kind of therapy for my very dramatic relationship. It made me work through it and then finally leave it.
2014 was the first time in my Berlin life where I stood up on my own two feet. I got a nice apartment in the heart of Kreuzberg, I started my own thing, I was singing in the studio with a band and co-running a café in Prenzlauer Berg. And of course, I regularly organised my dinners. I was doing a few things at a time, I was sometimes extremely exhausted but I was happy. Me and my former business partner Don, were holding it together, we had a strong group of friends (probably when I first thought to call us the ”polish mafia”).
2014 was a year of new things, I constantly felt as if I was performing in a movie. I made all the coolest hipsters come to a Kindercafe at which I worked. One night hosting the boss of one of the most famous former clubs, Stattbad Wedding, and Ritter Butzke DJs. No one cared that they were seated surrounded by teddy bears and a plastic ball pool. I also sang on a tune for fashion week in 2014. I was having loads of fun even if working days and nights.
2015 was a break through year. I organised a dinner in Stattbad for about 40 people, where I met one of the coolest dinner pop-uppers “Wild & Wiese” and guys from Lost In Wedding. I kept on singing, I met my producer Darius Gall, recorded songs, did a few videos, worked at the Portuguese bakery Bekarei, and did more and more dinners. Sometimes struggling with fears and doubts, but I never gave up. And thanks to that and my communication skills, in the beginning of 2016 I got my first big feature on Freunde von Freunden, thanks to my dear, Jonny Tiernan. Since that was published, my career just cared for itself.
I was doing three dinners a month, hosting guests from all around the world, working five days a week in a restaurant, having gigs, travelling and sometimes working weekends on additional events. I’ve been interviewed by all the biggest radio stations and magazines in Berlin and Poland, showed up on TV a few times. I worked with official Polish institutions, and was even contacted by Ikea for cooperation. I still sing, I model, I was asked to write a book with the whole story. Now I’m planning to open my own location! Uff ! More work and bigger goals! World, here I come!
My style is simple: minimalistic chic. I have this natural, French flair. I probably picked it up while spending a lot of time in France.
How did you develop your sense of style? What influences you the most?
My mom was always a very stylish lady, I always observed her and admired her sense of aesthetic. She is an interior designer. She doesn’t only have amazing clothes but everything at home is beautiful. Additionally, my grandmother Marta was a model, so I guess the sense of style in this family is genetic. I also spent many holidays on the Cote d’Azur, where my family previously lived, and I keep on returning. The Monaco yacht style is familiar to me!
My interest in fashion began when I was 15. I remember I fell in love with high heels and tried to copy the models. I bought myself very high sandals and took them to Monte Carlo. It was a big challenge to walk the uneven streets in them, it was so funny actually, my mom was holding me so I wouldn’t fall.
You know, I’ve been grown up reading all the Vogues, Elles, etc., watching Sex and the City, imagining myself in these beautiful designer clothes. Well, dreams do come true!
Within the context of living in Berlin, how would you describe the development of your personal style?
I learnt to be myself in Berlin, also to express myself with my clothes. I chose the hipster Mitte chic over Polish diva-ness. I think white sport shoes, loose tops and “suit” pants, that’s my favourite outfit, with a leather jacket or a trench coat, red lips and my “legendary sunglasses”. This is how you can recognise me on the streets. And of course, because of my hair cut.
Why did you choose these specific designs for the shoot?
I chose them because it’s exactly how I am. An elegant, sophisticated business lady in a beige coat and sunglasses, a sweet French school girl and sometimes a rockstar. You can see that too, right?
What to you is Berlin style?
I don’t think that Berlin has a a specific style really. Maybe, ”I don’t care much” would be the right expression? Though, a few things are characteristic of Berlin style: vintage clothes, over-sized vintage furs and leather jackets, Berghain SM outfits, sweatpants, dirty uber partied shoes, but also Mitte chic, mostly taken from COS and Acne catalogues. I like that last one!
What do you think about the current style hype around Eastern European fashion?
I think it’s still too unknown. I’m in love with a few Polish designers and try to support them by buying and wearing their designs. I really think people should start being more supportive of emerging designers who make their own handcrafted clothes with so much love and care, and stop focusing on the well known, mass-produced brands.
My muse and icon is of course my mom. She has this artistic, eccentric sense of style. Some of her outfits even I wouldn’t be brave enough to wear. After her, I’d say: Diane Keaton and Lauren Hutton - for their masculine feminine elegance. To be honest I often get inspired by men. Elegance is one of the most important things I admire in men. So guys: No style, no Bosski.
photos / Mark Hunt, styling / Julia Bosski, Hair & Make-Up / Kaya Birch