SILVER surfing

Elisabeth Längle photographed by Julia Stix for the cover of Die Presse / Schaufenster

... for an article that came out last week, I met up with one of Austria's most outstanding fashion GRANDES DAMES, and that is Elisabeth Längle. She's been in fashion long enough to know what it's all about, claims to have catapulted Helmut Lang onto the international stage when she took him to Paris to participate in the show programme that accompanied the 1986 exhibition VIENNE - UNE APOCALYPSE JOYEUSE at the Centre Pompidou, and more recently wrote the first authorized monograph about Pierre Cardin. When I met her, we talked about fashion's recent discovery of the BEST AGEING and SILVER SURFING generation 50+. Mrs Längle made it very clear that according to her, superficial communication and marketing strategies targetting the elderly will prove to be inefficient if they don't come up with more innovative ideas than replacing 14-year-old models with others that are maybe 40-year-olds. If the Sun City communities in the US didn't work out because people preferred to live somewhere where they're surrounded by people of all ages, boutiques specialising in fashion for BEST AGERS would be just as pointless - "I wouldn't set foot in one of those", Mrs Längle told me and instead pleaded for high-quality lines of basic garments (Prada already does one, and so do Donna Karan and Céline) - mind her words, is all I can say ...

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