... sans trop de mots : le crâne signé CODOGNATO à temps pour les fêtes de Toussaint. Wonderful. Et, d'après ce que l'on dit, Monsieur Visconti lui-même aurait fréquenté les ateliers de Codognato à Venise pour y trouver des inspirations glauques à utiliser dans son interprétation de LA MORT A VENISE ...

... right on time for Halloween (hallo, Wien!), a wonderful little reminder of autumn days in Venice (acqua alta!!!), this skull-adorned ring by Codognato in Venice. Rumour has it that Luchino Visconti frequently visited Codognato's studio in the flooded city - to seek inspiration for his DEATH IN VENICE film version ...

... siccome stiamo parlando di Venezia e siccome anche, ci stiamo avvicinando a passi giganti della festa di Ognissanti, la quale tutti gli anni è imbevuta di uno strano sapore di fugacità, allora niente, Venezia, acqua alta magari, e la bottega del gioielliere Codognato che ha dato al mondo questo bellissimo anello, come tanti altri. Si capisce facilmente perché Luchino Visconti lì si è reso molto sovente, anche per ispirarsi di tanta vanità con il fine di rendere la sua versione della MORTE A VENEZIA di Mann ...



Nathalie modelling for Sonia Rykiel s/s 1977

... last summer I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to Nathalie Rykiel - the interview was recently published in the newspaper's supplement. I was positvely impressed by the energy and vitality that emanates from this woman, who followed in the footsteps of her mother Sonia, herself a true legend of French 20th century fashion of course.

By the way: Nathalie's daughter Lola recently decided to join the company, which may well assure the continuation of a truly impressive chapter in French fashion.

Sonia, Nathalie, Lola - three generations of Rykiel (photo: Vincent Lappartient)

Among the things Nathalie and I discussed, of course, there was her collaboration with H&M, the launch of her home-collection as well as a project realised with Coca Cola - various things which she perceives in the same vein as her mother's collaboration with the 3 Suisses back in the 1970 - Sonia Rykiel being the first to do so...

"Rykiel, comme je disais, c'est une marque très particulière, et on a toujours favorisé le rêve et le luxe, mais en même temps, moi j'adore offrir des choses pas chères de temps en temps.
J'adore qu'on puisse faire entrer dans le luxe pour que ce monde-là ne soit pas seulement une frustration ; on a toujours proposé des t-shirts, des bougies, des broches pas chères…
Pour que les femmes plus jeunes qui ont moins d'argent puissent entrer dans l'univers de la marque. C'est quelque chose de très important pour moi, comme ma mère en 1976 a été la première à faire du mail order avec les trois Suisses, à l'époque c'était révolutionnaire.

And then, we also talked about the blog that she writes on Rykielles.com, which is an entertaining little something and where Nathalie appears as Dita du Flore. Dita being her second given name, and the Flore, of course, alluding to the infamous café in Paris.

"Oui, c'est moi qui l'écris, avec le soutien de quelques collaborateurs. J'ai même pris un pseudonyme, Dita du Flore. Dita, c'est mon deuxième prénom, et puis c'est à cause du Café de Flore. J'aime bien écrire ce blog parce que pour moi c'est une autre façon de communiquer sur ma vie personnelle – parce que nos clientes sont très curieuses de savoir ce que j'aime, où je vais, qui je rencontre etc."

And then, towards the end, I asked Nathalie about her first novel "Tu seras une femme, ma fille" (the title of course paraphrases the French translation of the poem "If (You'll Be a Man, My Son)" by Rudygard Kipling) which came out earlier this year. So Nathalie told me a little bit about the rhythm of literature, which is a welcome alternative and change from the ever so fast, hysterical and constantly changing world of fashion:

"Vous savez, la littérature est le contraire de la mode, c'est quelque chose de créatif aussi mais cela se fait complètement seul.
La mode, vous travaillez en équipe, c'est comme faire un film. Et puis, aussi, je pense que la rythmique littéraire, elle me convenait et était très importante pour moi, parce que la rythmique de la mode est une rythmique folle, on est pressurisé en permanence.
Le rythme de travail, parfois c'est fou – on termine une collection et il y a tout de suite la prochaine qui arrive.
Tandis que le rythme de la littérature, de l'écriture, c'est le rythme de l'intérieur et vous ne pouvez rien forcer.

All I can say was - this was a truly fascinating encounter, and it provided for some welcome discoveries in world literature ...



... I recently visited the "Design in Vienna" exhibition that's currently on at Wien Museum (until Jan. 9, 2011), and I must say - these hairy little pieces of furniture would fit in ever so perfectly with any given Maison Martin Margiela collection.

They were designed by Croatian-born designer Dejana Kabiljo, and manoeuver along the narrow frontier that separates design and experimental art...

that was part of my MMM déjà-vu...



... the last time I met Michaela Bürger in Paris, she was energetic and ambitous as ever before. She explained to me that in her opinion, co-branding is one of the best, and most successful ways for a young and independent designer to gradually move on.

Michaela continues to work for Maison Fabre, and she added a little knitwear-collection for Mühlbauer headwear to her range of activities.

Anne-Valérie Hash "Hand in Hand" Michaela Bürger

What's more, for spring 2011 she collaborated with ever so lovely Anne-Valérie Hash for a special knitwear collection called "Hand in Hand". I must say, Michaela never seems to rest ...



... I positively love the work of Paris-based public artist Invader (for reasons I already discussed in one of my first contributions to dérive magazine, which is online here - in German language), and I found it brilliant when he added Vienna to the list of cities he had invaded.

I just checked his website and saw that July 2010 marked the moment when he realised that all roads lead to Rome. Bellissimo, piacere ...



... that's a short-circuit of the other kind, really really is. Let's tackle things and be very precise and meticulous: since I'm currently in New York City, the wonderful wonderful Big Apple, I thought I might just as well check out the ever-so special and ever-so acclaimed and ever-so much lauded Austrian Cultural Forum.

Albert Leitner, "Photographic Notes", installation view (left) and my BB

Current exhibition: Serbia - Frequently Asked Questions. Quite an interesting title, indeed, and how good to know that at least abroad and where cultural affairs are concerned, Austrians show off their MITTELEUROPA-centered multi-culti spirituality blah.

Albert Leitner, "Photographic notes", installation view

Some of the works that caught my eye in this not infinitely extensive show were Paul Albert Leitner's "photographic notes" from Belgrade, Novi Sad (wasn't Monica Seles born there?), Austria and the US.

Albert Leitner, "Photographic Notes", installation view (left) and my BB

To keep things slavic, you'll say, I went to Brighton Beach the next day, and I will never get tired of saying it: I positively love, heart, and adore Brighton Beach. I mean, knowing that you're in NYC and feeling as if you are in a strange kind of bubble and being able to buy your Russian calendar for 2011 all at the same time never ever ever ceases to amaze me. I took some crappy images and was daring and pretentious and presumptuous enough to show two of them alongside Mr Leitner's images.

Scandal in Vienna!

And, pour boucler la boucle, I bought an international edition of АРГУМЕНТЫ И ФАКТЫ for the week until October 19, and on the cover, some hot shit from Vienna - "Scandal in Vienna, our prima ballerina fired from the National State Opera". A little blown-up, maybe (the actual "article" on page 27 is a tiny little note three times smaller than the image on the cover), and as we know by now - Mrs Sarkissova will be able to start working again regardless of all the bare skin she previously exposed.

But so much Vienna, Moscow, New York and Belgrade so close together could really make one think that the world is all too small a place. But then one would realize that it's all about New York, really, and that in New York everything (and more) is always possible ...



photo by Sia Kermani

... some time ago, Austria's fashion wonder-boy George Bezhanishvili was so kind to send me a teaser for his lacey, relaxed, floating spring 2011 collection.

Very much looking forward to George's output in his last year at university, by the way ...



... when I first heard about the existence of валенки in my Russian classes, so very densely manufactured boots made from felt that are worn in the Siberian snow and ice plains, I thought that I must one day possess a pair. Now, even though I haven't made it to Novosibirsk yet, I was recently given a валенок or two (well, two actually).

And now I wonder - practical warm boots to be worn at home, primarily, or future fashion item ??? ...



... finally - and what feels like years after the end of Paris fashion week (really, the internet does change our perception of time - and absolutely so in the context of fashion journalism; in the print media I won't be able to use these images before next February, and then I'll probably have forgotten about them...) - my last little #austrianfashion report from Paris.

At the Première Classe tradeshow I visited Klaus Mühlbauer at his company's booth, and among all the renewed Mühlbauer classics that headwear-aficionados cherish so much, there were some softer, and very flowery (even though my first thought was "tutti frutti" - which would have given them a Brazilian touch), hat models.

I think someone told me (I've got my sources, you know...) that since Klaus didn't find a pattern that suited him, a custom-made flower arrangement was photographed for this collection.

And, since we're already talking about accessories here, wouldn't we just love to carry around next year's shopping in the flowery flowery bag ...


Bernhard's PLASTIC BAG

... I don't have the image (and don't have the object as such either), but I happen to know that Mr Bernhard Willhelm designed Vienna's "it bag" for the autumn season of all fashion-loving cinema addicts, aka this year's Viennale cinema festival bag. Lacking photo material, and referring to rumours, I think the pattern which we see on the cover of Dazed & Confused magazine more or less corresponds to what he came up with for the bag. De gustibus non est disputandum, I say ...

BIJOUX Bischur

... I was very happy to see that Sonja Bischur, who recently launched her own homepage (welcome to virtuality, I say), re-appeared in Paris during fashion week with her delicate, clever, beautiful and very nice-to-look-at collection for spring 2011.

Recently, Sonja remained absent from Parisian showrooms, which is a totally valid decision of course, but I do think that her contribution to contemporary jewellery design is so important and so notable that it's good to see her back on the international scene. And it would be even better so see her collection stocked in one or two shops. Or a dozen, as for that.

I particularly liked her textile-metal blend in the massive chains she designed, which came in an interwoven version as well as a half-and-hald interpretation of the main theme. The more fragile-looking pieces were shown hanging rather than laid out, and these are definitely for the grand occasion - and suffice to make a valid fashion statement. No need for the red carpet robe, a Bischur necklace, a plain catsuit, and you're dressed...


FOOT Bally

Bally on my feet? ... well, could be this one...

... just a quick note, but one referring to something that I really found rather funny. Recently I met Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler, the new creative heads of Bally Switzerland. They came to Vienna for the (somewhat belated) VIP opening of the new Bally flagship store. The interview was published last Friday in the newspaper's supplement.

Anyhow, at a certain point I asked them where they would like to see Bally in four seasons. Michael Herz was quick to answer:

"On your feet, young man, on your feet."

Ah, that's what sneaker-wearing-me calls esprit à la britannique ...



... still working hard to recollect all my impressions from Paris Fashion Week (for the high-fashion part, and the international one, please consult the newspaper and its supplement), so now let's talk about Eva Buchleitner's latest collection ...

With her label Eva Blut, Eva designs clever and solution-oriented accessories that aren't only of help if you want to carry your stuff around, they're also really beautiful.

When I met Eva outside the Vienna Fashion Week veneue, we talked about how difficult it was to find nice-looking back-packs. Really, that's so true - somehow it seems impossible to bridge the gap between casual street and sportswear and boring leather pouches dangling off your spine.

In her spring 2011 collection, Eva presented some very nice back-pack solutions, and versatile they are, too. She also continues her new "Cubism" line in new colours. The belts (or shall we call them corsets?) are real eye-catchers, don't you find ...



... lovely, how Julia Scharl, the designer behind the brandnew Vienna-based sustainable fashion label WANDELBAR, put together this guerilla gardening / lookbook photo shoot.

Julia brought together public art and fashion and staged her lookbook photo shoot as a public guerilla gardening event called "GARDEN OF WANDELBAR", with support from the kampolerta Urban Hackers (who I first met for this article).

all images: courtesy of Julia Scharl, © Katarina Balgavy

Wonderful, a really good idea. And beautiful images, too...



... luckily there was time enough for me to visit Première Classe (where I also bumped into Camille, but that's another story) and talk to my favourite shoe designers ever, Simone and Yuji from Rosa Mosa ...

lookbook images by Manfred Veigl

... their spring 2011 collection remains faithful to what Rosa Mosa stands for - not overly delicate shoe models, raw wooden soles, massive heels, and then there's also a little bit of that omnipresent cloggy thing, absolutely delightful everything ...

... and I'm always curious to find out about the particular twist which they will give to their collection, they usually dig up some very rare and almost extinct handcrafting technique which they will quote (such as the wonderful leather blue-print collection - there is a reminder of that one with the almost batik-looking leather) ...

... this time round it was the white sheets with colourful threads woven through the structure of the material which they saw on the benches of a Hungarian church (!) that got them thinking, so they actually found someone (in Hungary) who produced these embroidered (is it embroidery, in English, actually? some kind of, no?) white textiles for them. Ah ! ...



... as it were, this young gentleman called Hien Le (he lives in Berlin, and his family is of Vietnamese descent, if I'm not totally wrong) ab-so-lutely does a wonderful job in fashion - and he does it since very recently.

naturally, I was not capable of capturing the finesse of these garments' tailoring

I mean, that depends a little on how you define "doing a job in fashion", because actually Hien worked for the Berlin-based agency V before remembering that ACTUALLY he had at some point studied fashion design because he wanted to work as a fashion designer.

lookbook images by Christoph Schemel

All the better, I say. I know Hien because he's a good friend of the sister of a great friend of mine (sounds more improbable than it is, actually), so the whole fashion thing only comes as a side-effect. We went to see Hien at Tranoï last week and, after all I'd read about his new vision and mission on the Les Mads blog (or online magazine or whatever it is), I must say, I was NOT disappointed nor were expectations too high.

A very good eye for proportions, high-class materials, and attention paid to refined details make a very fine, reduced, minimalistic collection. Looking forward to the seasons to come.



... what a beautiful spring collection created by the fabulous duo Agnes and Filip from the Vienna-based fashion label HARTMANN NORDENHOLZ. There are lots of what I'd almost call their signature aesthetic prints, in a new colour range that provides for a decidedly animalesque look ...

... so if you cannot quite bring yourself to buying any of those rather doubtful leopard prints, go for this abstract tiger.

Also lovely, season after season, the pleated and folded HN bags, the half-moon shaped croissant shoulder bag is particularly beautiful, I should think.

Another very prominent Viennese designer and shop-owner (no names here) who was visiting Agnes and Filip when I popped in was kind enough to hold this relaxed and Nordic looking (Nordic looking? well, somehow you'll be clever enough to sense what I mean) shirt-dress for me. Ah, and the - shall we call it a dinner jacket? In gold! Wonderful, just wonderful ...


BIJOUX nouveaux

... we couldn't quite find out whether "Art Nouveau" or "Art Déco" is the better term to describe the inspiration for part of Florian's spring 2011 collection (Florian opted for Art Déco, which would lead towards the 1920s rather than the turn of the century), but fashion is less about words than about objects anyhow (it's the journalist speaking, here - hello!), so let the objects do the talking ...

... part of the collection was very beautifully executed in alernating black and white necklaces, another part took you straight to the Mediterranean and your best friend's yacht in very maritime colours ...

... I loved some of the details such as the metal enclosures on some massive necklaces that pointed towards the 1950s or 1960s, as well as the jade-like green, strictly geometrical beads ...

... an eye-catcher were some of the hand-carved black-and-white beads, and the men's collection was also on show with very interesting pieces that seem to be much to Japanese buyers' taste ...

modular elements are a striking characteristic of the necklace pictured above - the transparent beads can be turned and twisted and moved,
that's what I call an adequate support for aesthetes in need of behaviour therapy

Archives du blog