that's what you could call a t-shirt-threesome by 1st year students

... okay, so this was the 2010 edition of Vienna's fashion festival week. Hooray, then. And just like every year, regardless of what the organisers think or claim or stress, the real and unpretentious highlight is the show of the fashion department at Vienna's University of Applied Arts.

In 2010, the whole thing turned out to be particularly exciting, and the fashion-addicted (or, let's actually leave it at: interested) crowd was impatient to find out in what ways Bernhard Willhelm's influence on his students would become manifest.

All in all, I saw some really good and solid and well-constructed collections as well as others that were, say, a bit too carnivalesque for my taste. But whatever. University is university, and until you graduate you should probably continue experimenting and try out as many things as you can and/or want to.

By the time you graduate, however, you should be aware of the fact that your graduate collection usually represents the first "valid" chapter in your portfolio, which you will use for job applications etc. The graduate collections by Andra Dumitrascu, Elizaveta Fateeva and Suzana Jankovic were definitely apt to convince (images by Shoji Fuji on Diane's blog here and here)

Very pleasant surprises came from the 2nd year, with sparkles of really good and forward-thinking fashion design. Two names I'd like to mention are Martina Sophie Tiefenthaler who very rightly received the award sponsored by Indie magazine. I also liked (except for the colour, maybe) Ana Delic' collection, in which she played with surface structures and texture, and there were one or two really well constructed (and by constructed I really mean like: I'd like to take a closer look at that, and inside out as for that) dresses in Takahiro Ueno's collection.

Bernhard Gruber, 4th year (left) // Elizaveta Fateeva, graduate (right)

Part of the anticipation and fascination for this year's show stemmed from the fact that Willhelm had taken over from Branquinho - two times Antwerp, you could say, but really, in terms of fashion aesthetics, the two designers are WORLDS apart. Some students, f. ex. Bernhard Gruber (4th year), despite showing an entertaining and not at all bad collection, were obviously all too eager to suck in the Willhelm-spirit. Some pieces from Bernhard's (Gruber) collection might well have been taken straight from Bernhard's (Willhelm) design archive of prototypes. Anyhow, the crowd liked it, so why not.

Graduate student Elizaveta Fateeva showed a very reduced, "tailored" (apparently, from what I saw, a word many students would loathe to see associated with their work), minimalist collection still imbibed with remainders from the years spent under Branquinho's leadership. Not at all bad, and I'm happy that Elizaveta received the award sponsored by Swiss Textiles.

drag queens Miss Candy, dressed by Sophie Pollak // Coco Caine, dressed by Isis Flatz (both 1st year)

I was curious to see Aya Nonogaki's collection, as I really liked what she showed us last year, and even though I wasn't struck just as instantly by this year's work - as I feared that too much deconstruction and a "bits and pieces falling apart" look was going to be inflicted upon us - I must say that Aya managed the whole deconstructive verve really well by fiddling single elements together again in a very refined way. With ribbons hanging down and floating away, which gave her collection a slightly unfinished, edgy but not disturbing look. (As I'm writing this, I'm waiting for the complete set of press images to be uploaded by the staff of the university's press office, and Aya's collection isn't featured...)

member of the hilarious gold-clad brass band - Kafka-inspired? // professor Willhelm and Dame Galaxis, dressed by 1st year student Ken Kumagai

Now, there are few designers who know about the fact that fashion is (also) about show-culture, performance and "mise en scène" as well as Bernhard Willhelm does. That's why he didn't ask his 1st year students to come up with sleeve studies and cotton frocks, but he invited them to create showdresses for Vienna's élite of drag queens.

Very amusing, hilarious, sexy, outrageous - thanks to the legendary ladies in drag Dame Galaxis, Miss Candy and Chantal St Germain, and some of the up-and-coming princesses, led by wonderful Tamara Mascara.

The finale was provided by a entirely gold-clad brass band, stomping up and down the runway. That was definitely a very adequate ending for a remarkable evening - and definitely a promising sign for the self-confident evolution of a fashion institution in the years to come...

(all images except for the first one © Shoji Fuji courtesy of Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien/Mode)

1 commentaire:

Anonyme a dit…

hahaha, i enjoyed it a lot! it was fun!

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