Jana Wieland's graduate collection (Hetzendorf, photo: J. Hammerschmid)
... I was talking to some people the other day and we found out that since Vienna's annual "festival for fashion and photography" was moved to a later date in autumn, the city's fashion folk had much less occasions to meet and mingle than they usually would at this time of the year. I mean, at least if you calculate that the people attending a show with avant-garde fashion by student designers are not 100 percent identical with the luxury aficionados that invade the countless openings of new luxury flagship stores in the city centre.

Anna-Sophie Berger from Angewandte (photo: Shoji Fuji)
Anyhow, so we were all really really happy and full of energy when we went to the traditional fashion show of Modeklasse at Angewandte last week, and the same thing goes for the BA Fashion show by students of the bachelor course for fashion design located in Hetzendorf. 

First up was the show of Angewandte's fashion department, one of the highlights on Vienna's fashion calendar for sure. The air was thick and damp and heavy, but that didn't prevent us from digging the work of Bernhard Willhelm's students. There is quite a lot of Willhelmy stuff around, and a surprisingly great number of collections made me think "that's a little Margiela-ish" or "isn't that one of Miuccia's whims?" (wasn't that a little different some years ago? probably not, and I'm just imagining things - I HAVE been very busy at work lately, so that would be pretty understandable). 

Taro Ohmae from Angewandte (photo: Shoji Fuji)
There was quite some colourful stuff, quirky shoes, some valid criticism of the fashion system, and there was the graduate collection of Taro Ohmae who does BEAU-TI-FUL things together with Tanja Bradaric - as you, dear readers, should be well aware of... Keep it coming, dear fellows (does anybody know when the Willhelm era will come to its end, by the way? was this his last season at Angewandte already? I guess there's one more year to come...?).

Regarding the fashion show of BA Fashion students at Hetzendorf in collaboration with the University of Fine Arts in Linz (phew! always such an effort to get *that* right...), that was quite another thing. I mean, basically it should be just another chapter of the same story, which is or should be about about creativity and being young and a newcomer

But sadly, there is one great difference: the City of Vienna, which used to finance this very fashion course, decided (that was two years ago) that money spent on such a bachelor degree was money spent not wisely enough. 

Isolde Mayer, a Hetzendorf graduate (photo: Jürgen Hammerschmid)
Huh? Yeah, you understood that correctly. First they started it, and then, after three or so years, they said - that's enough, we'll pay for another three years, and then that's that. Quite the contrary of political farsightedness, I'd say. Urgh.

Alina Saavedra Santis, a Hetzendorf graduate (photo: J. Hammerschmid)
The fashion show was marvellous, you'll find images on most Austrian fashion blogs (the same thing is true for Angewandte's show), there were really original ideas in some of the collections and also on how to present fashion (and shoes - with torches, lighting them, as in Isolde Mayer's case, for example; or sitting on a chair pretending to try them on as you would in a shop). 

Lena Marie Fuhrmann, a Hetzendorf graduate (photo: J. Hammerschmid)
24 collections of Hetzendorf graduates being presented at the same time, quite a challenge, and all in all pretty impressive, right? And let me express my hope that some high-ranking person from Vienna's town office was there and will be able to take the right decision for this bachelor course. I will keep you posted, you can take that as a promise ...

... quelques mots en français pour terminer : je viens de vous parler du festival de la mode et de la photographie qui n'a pas encore eu lieu à Vienne cette année, et des grandes attentes que le people a pu avoir à l'égard des défilés des deux universités de mode existant à Vienne. 

En ce qui concerne la fameuse "Modeklasse" de l'Université des Arts Appliqués, les traces de la direction artistique de Bernhard Willhelm ont depuis longtemps pu devenir manifestes - il y avait décidément, çà et là et ailleurs, une influence willhelmoise très, on va dire, bigarée.

Et pour parler de la licence ("bachelor") de mode, cours d'études dirigé par la designer autrichienne Ute Ploier à l'Université de Linz mais situé à Hetzendorf : cela aura été l'avant-dernière fois, tragiquement, qu'on a vu les travaux de ces jeunes gens apparemment très doués défiler car la ville de Vienne, soutien économique principal de ce cours universitaire, a décidé, il y a deux ans, qu'elle allait arrêter ce flux d'argent. Ce qui, trois ans seulement après qu'on avait démarré ce même cours, a surpris par l'absence totale de clairvoyance de la part des responsables politiques. C'est presque surprenant que l'on puisse encore être surpris par une série d'actions dépourvues de sens en politique, mais là, ç'a été fait. On verra bien l'an prochain si la décision a vraiment été prise une fois pour toutes ... 

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