ALPINE FASHION IDYLL - complete with cow

... well, the fantasy of marketing people has no limits where it comes to potentially fruitful (?) collaborations. "I hope they pay her a *lot* of money", was all I had on my mind when I found out today that Austrian fashion designer Lena Hoschek (generally recognized for her edgy approach of traditional Austrian costume aka "dirndl") accepted to blog "live" for the Austrian dairy product specialist (think: cream cheese) Alma.

Lena was sent up to the "Schöner Mann" (handsome guy) mountain pasture, where she will remain until August 1st and blog cheesy (haha!) things. I mean, what will she be able to tell us? Where the inspiration for her next collection will come from?? *Not*

To my great surprise, Blog.Alma.at must have existed for quite some time already. 467 people actually like it on Facebook. Yes, that's correct. Like. On Facebook.

all images: courtesy of Alma, © Dietmar Mathis

So I guess that we're all eagerly waiting for Lena's first Alma blog post - and pray that for further photo material, she won't have to "bite the milk" (or whatever that ghastly white thing is she has to drag from the wooden barrel with her bare teeth).

A bit too much "posing", for my taste. But I like the cow ...



... goodness me - at the publication rhythm I currently pursue on this blog, it would well have taken me until Christmas to publish these images. Anyhow, I'm horrified since I have to realise that the exhibition already closed!

I'm talking about another Milanese high culture trip, to Fondazione Trussardi to be exact, where (until July 4, alas!) the first ever Paul McCarthy solo show in Italy entitled "Pig Island" was open to the public.

Needless to say that Mr McCarthy's controversial anal pig orgies and gory videos caused a lot of uproar in Italy. But then again, in Italy and elsewhere, provocative art of this kind will always trigger reactions of various sorts.

I particularly liked his (inflatable) ketchup bottle - an example of McCarthy's witty approach of generously dimensioned "public sculptures". Popping up in the Fondazione's interior court, the bottle was more than just an eye-catcher ...


the TWITTER BLOG format

... funny enough, all of a sudden I appear to be infected with the Twitter virus.

It's not that I'm desperately into Twitter and tweeting, but it's definitely more to my liking right now than concocting hugely extensive blog posts, looking for images, coming up with ever so smart thoughts (haha) and observations and wha'ever.

Kind of tired of constant output. Kind of summer break needy. Yeah, just kind of ...


N - E - W

... lazy and unmotivated, actually, but still - fiddling around with the colours and header of the blog iso getting on with my PhD (very clever) - is it the heat?

Anyhow, thanks to CLAUDIA who brought up this whole YSL fragrance inspired Paris-V-ienne idea. I'm just implementing ...



... it's summer, it's ridiculously hot and I'm about to leave Vienna for a few days. Talking about "ridiculous": the other day I went to Vienna's Wurstelprater amusement park and found this tragically dismantled, upside-down billboard for a Punch & Judy theatre...



... after years of typically Austrian to and fro, a memorial for homosexual victims of the national-socialist regime was recently inaugurated in Vienna.

Nota bene - a temporary memorial, one that takes place at specific hours.

On the one hand, I find the concept really interesting, since a temporary memorial need not answer all questions or thematise all possible aspects that are of relevance ...

... on the other hand, the temporary memorial only makes sense if an uninterrupted series of interventions is to follow. After all, the memorial in its present form takes place 1 h per week every week for 14 weeks - that's a total of 14 hours, and if that were to be all for 2010, the result may well be classfied as somewhat cynical after years of waiting. Therefore, I would like to espress my strongest hope that the next chapter of this "temporary memorial" will follow immediately after the closure of this first art project in early October.

You can read my article (in German) about Vienna's new concept for a temporary memorial on Morzinplatz, realised by Ines Doujak and curated by Matthias Herrmann for KÖR WIEN by DOWNLOADING THE PDF HERE ...




... totally star-struck today - and don't you agree that there's a tiny little something that Birgit Minichmayr and Robert Stadlober have in common?

Maybe that's the prototype of an Austrian actor's face as the German-speaking cinema wants to see it?

But what about Romy, then? So many questions - but I'll leave you with this DOPPELGANGER-revival ...



... just wondering, recently: is it me, is it selective perception, is it all about coincidence - or is Napoleon really quite present these days, and especially from a fashion perspective.

Fact is, one exhibition recently opened in Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace to shed light on or stage and show dresses from the wedding of Napoleon and Marie Louise of Austria (no need to hurry: remains open until Dec. 31).

And, by far more interesting, at least that's what I find, on the grounds of the Triennale in Milan, the exhibition "Napoleone e l'impero della moda" contextualizes fashion from the Napoleonic era and gives it a wider, well, context. I'd have loved to go there when I was in Milan but couldn't cos the only day I might have made it was Monday, and Monday sono chiusi i musei. I got to see a nice (even if a bit lengthy) Zegna show instead (remains open until Sept. 12).

Ah, and some days ago, in London, I ran into this huge Napoleonic poster - and I must say, even though he was crazy and despotic and a megalomaniac, he can't have been unwitty ...



... just briefly before visiting Tate Modern in London some days ago, I had spotted an article about an inflatable, 100 % mobile pavilion in a magazine or a newspaper, can't remember, and all of a sudden, in Tate Modern's wonderful Turbine Hall, there it was - ROSY, the 2010 Portavilion designed by the Berlin-based art/architecture collective raumlaborberlin.

I have already and quite extensively commented on my fascination for and perception of the per se temporary, futile, "on the run" nature of the pavilion.

The origins of the word "pavilion" go back to the French term "papillon" - butterfly. Now it's here, but a second later it may have spread its wings and be gone.

Now, the Portavilion concept, launched by UP Projects in 2008 and curated by Emma Underhill, really respects this futile nature by commissioning temporary venues for a colourful summer entertainment programme (a map and schedule is online here).

The Portavilion ROSY, through its inflatable nature, is so mobile and transportable that it really incarnates a quite ideal form of pavilion.

the interior of Jean Nouvel's pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery pavilion series,
via serpentinegallery.org, © Jean Nouvel

That said, when I was there, London was eagerly awaiting the inauguration of the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010 (takes place on July 10), designed by Jean Nouvel. A temporary construction, too, which comes complete with table-tennis tables and benches. These Londoners really are an assiduous and clever bunch of park-goers and city users ...



... courtesy of MMM

... that's how quick things can go, sometimes - just a few days ago, on the other side of the Channel, 20 years Maison Martin Margiela, the exhibition.

And today, the very intimate, reduced presentation of MMM's Artisanal collection in the studio ("artisanal" is not an empty promise, apparently) of the MMM immeuble in Paris.

Très animal, very subdued, many hours of work (all of which are meticulously listed in the press release - just as they were in the exhibition captions). Very conceptual and yet totally wearable garments. A bit over the top, but so Viennese in a way (people who I ask what strikes them about Vienna's fashion scene when they go there usually mention the tremendous amount of very well-dressed, sometimes to the point of looking eccentric, old ladies - well there'll be plenty of the raw material that these boots were made from in their cupboard...) - these biker boots made from customised reptile leather handbags ...


... sorry guys, but I just HAVE to do this... After learning from Anne that for some, these cardboard cards replace status symbols like expensive cars and fluffy fur coats. Anne's words were of course inspired by Bryan Grey Yambao (as we now know). Now then, here comes mine, skilfully staged on a Parisian flocati carpet.

That said, it doesn't "count" the same way as BB's of course, because I wasn't invited as the author of this much ignored blog (ha, that would be fun!).

Anyhow, another thing I'm always asking myself when I get this kind of very elaborate show invitations: *who* is in charge of the beautiful hand-writing. Chanel, but also Dolce & Gabbana or Louis Vuitton invitations are always written in a very beautiful calligraphy. Maybe there is one little clerk sitting in an office all year who gets to write all the invitations when fashion week is on? Or maybe there is a hand-writing agency somewhere in Paris, or Milan?

Maybe someone knows ? ...

edit: So that's what the "tête de lion" was all about. The collection remained largely devoid of lion symbols, though.



... just hit ground in good old Parnasse-ville, and since Paris without the Eiffel Tower is an unthinkable combination, here it comes. Well hidden, but true lovers of ParisVienne will find it, won't they? ...



... in Milan recently - and I wanted to post this earlier, but didn't have the time, or forgot, or whatever - for the menswear presentations, and as I was taking a little lunchbreak before the Burberry show on Corso Venezia, in the parco di whatever, it started to rain. Rain very heavily. What with the autumn weather in Milan, really pitiful, wasn't too surprising.

Anyhow, somehow with Burberry waiting for you, a little rain does do the trick and gets you in the right mood for UK-style outerwear. Even though what Christopher Bailey really did was to reach out to the thrift store clientele in order to bring the heavy consumers of 2nd hand trenchcoats home by offering them another thrift store classic: the biker jacket. Yes indeed.

Talking about Burberry s/s 11, wasn't everybody really convinced that like, no more studs and beads and blah? No? Yes? Anyhow, Burberry was chic and trendy, and that's all you need (when you've got a handful of super chic testimonials on hand). But what I really wanted to talk about (me and my digressive mind, always) was the fact that when it started raining, I quickly abandoned my panino and fled into the Museo civico di storia naturale del comune di Milano where I was of course the only adult not accompanied by a bunch of children. And before I mounted the elevator and had a coffee in the impressively well hidden cafeteria underneath the not so translucent (dirty? scratched?) glass roof, I had a bit of a McQueen moment, I must say. So much of a McQueen moment that I forgot to check what kind of animal this may have been. A giant turtle? A phantasy creature? Anyhow, totally the impossible high-heels from McQueen's Atlantis collection, don't you agree? ...



... more and more often, I'm thinking to myself that possibly, or at least for me, blogging is a bit like drafting a memo, of the longer kind obviously, but really, a rather personal way to elaborate a thought without necessarily bringing it to its end, in order to be able to come back to it at a later point ...


... toujours à Londres... Walking through Shoreditch (what else? where else?) the other day, my attention was drawn to this exceptional façade (and I mean, exceptional even for Shoreditch) - an installation or decoration or whatever you want to call it realised to accompany the event FUTURISING that took place on June 29 - 30 in these premises.

Futurising was organised by the University of the Arts in London as a two days creative industries recruitment and opportunities festival with the optimistic overall motto: "The best way to predict your future is to create it." Countless speeches and one-on-one meetings were organised for creative heads from all disciplines.

I happened to arrive when Stephanie Finnan from "The Fashion Careers Clinic" just talked to a bunch of up-and-coming designers about strategies of entering the job market and tackling job interviews in a successful way.

From "don't forget to check how you get to your interview on time" via "don't forget to smile and shake hands" to "conduct extensive research and know who you'll be talking to, and about what", Stephanie mentioned all kinds of interesting aspects. Interesting and useful for newcomers and young people at the beginning of their career.

This kind of preparation, however, only makes sense in a fashion scene of notable size, meaning, for example, that in Austria for designers who set up their own label - well, they probably won't have to bother themselves with this kind of additonal info. And that's a pity, in a way, I find ...



... had a wonderfully packed, kind of crazy, exciting LONDON day today and realised again to what extent I adore this marvellous, cosmopolitan metropolis ...

... and between my second and my third appointment today squeezed in a visit of the Maison Martin Margiela '20' exhibition at Somerset House, where, before being told by a nice young lady that I was not allowed to "take photographs of any (?) kind", I took these images ...

an arrangement of MMM's "tabi" boots from various seasons - all in silver

... and I must say, the exhibition - as can be expected with this kind of monothematic show - is a true hommage to the work and philosophy and aesthetics of MMM, and actually, one realises just how deep and great the impact of the outstandingly intricate design work of this fashion house has been throughout the past 20 year.

a selection from 20 years of shoulder-shapes, complete with pads and hoods and other interesting details

I particularly loved the videos sporting the "personal wardrobe" of three individuals, but I entered that room when I was already aware of and obeying the "no photo" policy of the exhibition (taking into consideration MM's shying away from publicity, that's all too logical, in a way).

Martin Margiela on board or not, like countless other friends of fashion I believe that MMM contributed to shaping contemporary avantgarde fashion as we see it, in Paris, in London, and beyond that. So I'd say, if you pass through London this summer, do give it a try...