JEAN PAUL GAULTIER coming to Vienna?

from Helmut Lang's "Make it Hard" series of works -
maybe the only way for fashion to make it
into a Viennese "design museum": after meltdown

... tomorrow is not only my birthday (ahum...), it is also the day that Vienna's Museum of Applied Arts (MAK) welcomes a new director: after excessively long years under the "reign" of Peter Noever, Christoph Thun-Hohenstein, previously director of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York and managing director of Vienna's support institution for the creative industries, departure, will take over. Congratulations to this very charismatic homme-de-lettres, Mr Thun-Hohenstein, and new hope for Vienna's design scene?
I mentioned the cancelled Helmut Lang art exhibition in a previous post (and the absurdity of Lang's only chance of being exhibited as an artist, not as a fashion designer). Who knows, maybe Mr Lang will bring his "Make it Hard" exhibition to Vienna one day, or another piece of destroyed fashion. But that's not what matters most right now.

I would consider it of some importance for MAK to bethink itself of its inherent mission to function as a showcase for the landscape of applied and decorative arts (ie., without relegating exhibitions of design to the basement of the museum!). Which does not mean that the focus must necessarily be on AUSTRIAN design, fashion and architecture.
Why is there not one museum in Vienna that could potentially bring one of the huge fashion exhibitions that we see so successfully touring the international museum landscape to this town? Now, because quartier21 definitely doesn't have the money, and because no other museum, except for MAK, has the mission to do so.
When I recently visited San Francisco's De Young museum, the Jean-Paul-Gaultier exhibition due to open in summer of 2012 was already (!) advertised. Well, why would that be? Because such an exhibition does attract visitors, and a lot of them, and attracting visitors is what a museum should be about at the end of a day. You know what Horace says? "Prodesse et delectare", instruct, be useful and entertain at the same time.

And if we keep on asking ourselves why Vienna isn't a true "fashion capital", and of course it isn't (its inexisant role as a B2C-hub notwithstanding), the fact that the local public is never presented with a big and potentially very popular exhibition might just have to do with that. Isn't it part of the responsibility of a museum to influence and forge the taste of the local public? No doubt.
And allow me to say one more thing about the obvious scepticism of the Austrian "intellectual" scene regarding all fashion-related discourse and phenomena (this also, but to a far lesser degree, concerns design): these are not the trivial and deprived-of-intellectual-value topics as which they are viewed by many (and as which they appear, more often than not, in the widely received mediatic discourse).
As a matter of fact, I would like to think that it was about time for a little change, and it might be too big a birthday wish to express for me, but would it not be wonderful if we could see a new orientation of a this Viennese museum landmark take place. And in the months to come, ideally, not years or decades ...


GROUP SHOW Vienna in Paris

watch out for the Austrian Fashion Showcase from September 3-6
in Paris, Première Classe, Porte-de-Versailles

... the first few days of September (3 to 6, to be exact) will see a remarkable initiative materializing on the Porte-de-Versailles edition of Première Classe in Paris: for the first time, an "Austrian Fashion Showcase" brings together a total of 17 accessory labels with the aim to attract the attention of fashion buyers through such a collective effort. Congratulations from me, and I would really like to hope that the organising team around Camille Boyer will see their venture crowned by success.
Quite fascinating, too, that the Austrian Fashion Showcase was put together by Camille and her partner Marlene Agreiter who have equally taken over the organisation of Vienna's "Kooperationsbörse-event (which brings together designers and production facilities).
And isn't it impressive in how little time they made this possible, which is all the more interesting as no other institution has succeeded in putting together (or effectively tried to do so, and I'm not talking about initiatives taken by designers in their own right) a comparable B2B-event reaching out beyond the boarders of Austria up until today. But let's not look back, let's look ahead, that's always the best thing to do I guess, and so I'd like to wish everyone involved with that Austrian Fashion Showcase, designers as well as organisers, the best of luck ...

accessory design by "local hero" Michaela Buerger will be on show

... il ne manque que peu de jours jusqu'à l'ouverture de la prochaine édition du salon PREMIERE CLASSE à Paris, Porte de Versailles, et voilà que nous attend, enfin : vous attend (car moi, je suis bien au courant, et depuis longtemps déjà ...), une belle surprise. C'est l'apparition de 18 marques de mode et d'accessoire autrichiennes dans le cadre d'un AUSTRIAN FASHION SHOWCASE organisé par Camille Boyer et Marlene Agreiter. Les deux sont donc un duo tout à fait impressionnant, et elles s'avèrent toujours plus importantes pour la scène locale puisqu'elles ont aussi pris en main la gestion d'un événement annuel ou des créateurs de mode rencontrent des sites de production. Effectivement, je trouve assez remarquable en combien peu de temps les deux se sont imposées avec des concepts si utiles ...

did you know that Anna Aichinger does accessories?

... tra qualche giorno aprirà le sue porte il salone Première Classe a Parigi, Porte de Versaille - e, per la prima volta, si vedrà l'apparizione rimarchevole dell'iniziativa AUSTRIAN FASHION SHOWCASE che comprenderà un totale di 18 marchi dell'ambito della moda viennese/austriaca. La presentazione collettiva è stata organizzata da Camille Boyer e Marlene Agreiter, a chi auguro un grande successo per questo evento. Secondo me, Camille e Marlene stanno diventando sempre più importanti per la realizzazione di progetti notevoli e utili per i designer con base a Vienna, siccome, eh sì, hanno anche preso in mano l'organizzazione della cosiddetta Kooperationsbörse, cioè una piattaforma dove i designer locali s'incontrano con aziende di produzione locali ...

also on show: accessory design by Hartmann Nordenholz
all images courtesy of Austrian Fashion Showcase / catalogue


VANITAS vanitatis

... Monday morning, ghastly, right? Well, no better start into the week than with a beautifully intimidating skull on your finger - that's the super cheap version (I got it in a local jewellery shop run by a Turkish family) of Codognato's baroquely Venetian jewellery visions that already inspired Visconti ... afin de commencer la semaine en bonne et due forme, veuillez contempler l'option d'orner votre annulaire de cette belle bague sous forme de vanité diamantée - c'est la version ultra-cheap des créations tout à fait impressionnantes de Codognato à Venise, lesquelles inspirèrent déjà Luchino Visconti pour ses visions d'une mort à Venise ... per cominciare la settimana, niente meglio che una versione molto cheap&chic dei bellissimi gioielli della casa Codognato a Venezia, io ho trovato questo anello a teschio in un piccolo negozio turco qui a Vienna, e vi assicuro che ci sono anche altre creazioni molto impressionanti da vedere ...


THE VOGUE disaster

"seductive" Iris Strubegger on the cover of German Vogue,
naturally not a word about her in the magazine -
that would have cost some journalistic effort, and
that's definitely not on the radar of the magazine's, uhm, "editor"

... I'm sorry but this time round the DISASTER that German Vogue is month after month after month really makes me want to comment. You know, to cut a long story short (and the same goes for Vogue Paris, naturally), when you pick a former "fashion director" (more often than not, in the case of a glossy magazine, that will be the stylist in charge of the fashion editorial spreads that define a title's characteristic "aesthetic"...) as future EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, you're just not in for a good MAGAZINE - as in: a periodical publication that doesn't only consist of IMAGES but also contains some WRITTEN STORIES that surpass the length of a DOUBLE PAGE and transport an overall editorial vision. I mean, I don't know where Christiane Arp thinks she is taking the magazine (I can tell you and her: to meaningless and endlessly boring realms) but it has nothing whatsoever to do with magazines like US VOGUE or (American) VANITY FAIR (or even British or Spanish Vogue, as for that - I do actually like Spanish Vogue a lot!) which are excellent examples of how a magazine can content those readers that are looking for beautiful images as well as INTERESTING STORIES. And yes, dear "editors", these readers still exist and I even think that those people who actually bother to go to the newsstand (or send in a subscription-postcard) and buy a magazine instead of just browsing through the latest pick-and-mix of fashion news on the web are exactly the same people that want to READ comprehensive, intelligent, witty articles. Hello? Yes, that IS an option. Instead of being presented with one-page-features about the latest must-haves blah blah blah. You know, I'm not particularly keen on being fed endless "news" about celebrity weddings BUT let's just take the September issue of German Vogue and of American Vogue as an example: both feature newly wed supermodels on the cover and whereas Kate Moss is presented in a portrait in the American version, German Vogue, uhm, "forgets" about Iris Strubegger's wedding? I mean, OF COURSE Mrs Arp had to clear some space for the obligatory two pages dedicated to KARL LAGERFELD in German Vogue (believe me, he's in there every month, sure as hell - more often than not as the "talented" photographer that he is, ahum). Clearly, Condé Nast's directory board must know the reasons why they go for people like Arp or Emmanuelle Alt, or even Sozzani in Italy (I think that Vera Montanari does an excellent job with Mondadori's flair magazine in Italy by telling the stories that the "artsy" industry magazine, Vogue Italia, leaves untold), maybe it's easier to leave the advertising clients satisfied with plentiful beautiful colourful images galore, but come on... And I don't say that everything Juliet Joan Buck (recently taken on board by Dasha for Garage magazine) does or did was good, but I think that the editor-in-chief of a renowned magazine (such as French Vogue, in Buck's case) should have a far-reaching vision for a lifestyle magazine, and one that does go beyond the fashion spreads and trend pages a fashion magazine OBVIOUSLY has to contain. It just shouldn't be all about that, should it ...


SILVIA and Francesca

"Modern Primitives" by Aranda/Lasch for Fendi
(via Aranda/Lasch Flickr album)

... great was my surprise when I recently opened the international edition of Citizen K (I positively adore this magazine, kudos to Kappauf and his extraordinary team) and found Silvia Venturini Fendi sitting on a "Modern Primitives" piece of furniture that is so unmistakably an Aranda/Lasch creation. I had completely missed out on this first excursion of the Fendi brand into the art world, which is even more unforgivable as a Vienna-based art institution is also part of the venture: the "Modern Primitives" project is co-commissioned (I so like that term) by T-B A21, Francesca Hapbsburg's (that's Francesca Thyssen, for all you Spanish readers out there) art foundation. Aranda/Lasch, the New York-based duo of architects, are definitely into fractals and Mandelbrotings, and the resemblance with their "Morning Line" pavilion is ever so striking. Which makes me wonder how these things come about - do Silvia and Francesca meet and, over a flûte de champagne, decide that they could do a thing together, boosting the art credentials of the Fendi brand? Not totally unlikely, I should think, but then again, you never know ...

feathers are so modernly primitive
(via Aranda/Lasch Flickr album)

... grand fut ma surprise lorsque j'ouvris le dernier numéro du si adorable magazine Citizen K (félicitations à l'équipe qui entoure Kappauf pour la réalisation de cette belle revue de mode, et de cosmétique, si j'ose dire), car ce que je vis ... eh ben, ce fut Silvia Venturini Fendi qui se présenta aux lecteurs, assise sur un meuble créé par le duo d'architectes new-yorkais Aranda/Lasch auquel avait été octroyé le très impressionnant titre de "Modern Primitives". Voilà tout. Et cette grande ignorance de ma part est d'autant plus impardonnable que "Modern Primitives" fut réalisé par la marque Fendi, qui cherche évidemment à se munir d'un nouveau profil dans le monde de l'art et des artistes, en collaboration avec une institution viennoise, à savoir la fondation d'art de Francesca Habsbourg ("de" Habsbourg ?), T-B A21. Une certaine ressemblance avec le pavillon "The Morning Line", également commissionné par T-B A21, n'est donc pas fortuite. Loin de là, et je me demande même comment de tels projets voient la lumière du jour. Est-ce que ce sont Francesca et Silvia qui, toutes les deux ensemble et en sirotant une flûte de prosecco, décident de donner au monde un projet réalisé conjointement ? Qui sait, mes chers, qui sait ...

that's the "Morning Line" in its Viennese form

... immaginatevi, quando ho aperto l'ultima edizione (internazionale) della bellissima rivista Citizen K (per cui vorrei felicitare il team intero intorno a Kappauf, come ogni volta), vi ho anche scoperto Silvia Venturini Fendi, ordinariamente piuttosto discreta, seduta su un mobile creato dagli architetti new-yorkesi Aranda/Lasch, intitolato "Modern Primitives" (che nome!). Quando mi sono lanciato su internet per fare qualche ricerca ho realizzato che "Modern Primitives" è stato realizzato dalla maison Fendi in collaborazione con un'istituzione viennese, cioè la fondazione d'arte di Francesca di Absburgo, Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary, T-B A21. La somiglianza con il "padiglione d'arte" di T-B A21 che si chiama The Morning Line e fu ugualmente concepito dagli stessi Aranda/Lasch e che reside attualmente a Vienna dopo fermate a Siviglia e Istanbu non è dunque più così tanto sorprendente. Rimane la domanda: come tali progetti vengono la luce del giorno? E' all'occasione di un cocktail molto mondano che la Silvia e la Francesca discutono di progetti potenzialmente interessanti per ambedue? Non lo penso proprio, ma, dall'altra parte, cari lettori, chi è che sa dircelo, chi è che lo sa ...

Aranda/Lasch even did an architecturally remarkable
interpretation of Fendi's peakaboo bag, well, wow ...
(via Aranda/Lasch Flickr album)



Daniela Karlinger's mirror dress, also worn by Lady Gaga

... it was totally by chance that I came across the interesting (let's face it, this IS SOME news) bit of information that Lady Gaga wore a piece by a young Vienna-based designer in the booklet for her BORN THIS WAY album. The key to Lady Gaga's outfits, we all know that, is Nicola Formichetti, and it must have been through him or one of his assitants that DANIELA KARLINGER was approached. This young student at the Hetzendorf bachelor course (which she will finish this autumn) created some quite stunning showstoppers using mirror elements which she combined giving them a truly avantgarde, very deconstructivist look. The mirror-dress was chosen by Formichetti for Gaga, and the mirror-harness appeared in a Take That video as well as, yes ladies and gentlemen, the Thierry Mugler show - and we all know that Formichetti plays a key-role there. So congratulations to Daniela, who I also featured in last Sunday's edition of the newspaper - she told me that she was overjoyed and couldn't believe her luck when she was approached by someone from the Gaga squad, and in her opition such a celebrity-link may well help kickstart her career later this year. We would sure like to hope so, and kudos to Hetzendorf, by the way, which has been producing an impressive number of fresh and exciting talent in the recent past ...

Daniela Karlinger's mirror harness "chez Mugler"

... il y a quelques jours, et totalement par hasard, je suis tombé sur cette information tout de même assez intéressante (surtout, vous me comprendrez, en considérant ce qui se passe d'habitude à Vienne, c'est-à-dire, euhm, presque rien) : la jeune et tout à fait prometteuse créatrice DANIELA KARLINGER a créé une robe-miroir portée par Lady Gaga dans le livret de son dernier disque. Qui dit "garde-robe de Lady Gaga", dit Nicola Formichetti, bien sûr, et le si recherché styliste semble en effet avoir un minuscule faible pour le travail de Daniela, vu qu'il n'a pas seulement travaillé avec la robe-miroir (très avant-garde, et assez déconstructiviste...), il a aussi utilisé une impressionnante carcasse-miroir (même esthétique du côté de Daniela, qui m'a dit, quand je lui ai demandé de répondre à quelques questions pour un article sur le journal, qu'elle essaie de faire converger l'art, la mode, l'architecture et, oui mes amis, la philosophie : quelle ambition, je dis !) dans une vidéo du fameux groupe Take That, et pour le défilé de Mugler. En voilà donc une jeune Autrichienne dont la carrière démarre de manière tout à fait remarquable (d'autant plus remarquable qu'elle ne va terminer ses études à l'institut de Hetzendorf associé à l'Université des Arts de Linz que cet automne) ...

take that, fashion folk ...

... qualche giorno ho appreso che una giovane e molto promettente stilista viennese che si chiama DANIELA KARLINGER e che, per ora, è ancora studente all'instituto di moda di Hetzendorf associato all'Università delle Arti di Linz, ha creato un modello molto affascinante tipo VESTITO-SPECCHIO che viene indossato dalla famosissima, celeberrima Lady Gaga nel libretto del suo ultimo CD. Chi dice Lady Gaga, dice anche Nicola Formichetti, e pare proprio che questo ormai quasi leggendario stylist italo-giapponese abbia scoperto il lavoro della giovane Daniela. Vediamo dunque l'apparizione di un altro modello suo, una corazza-specchio, in un video del gruppo Take That, su un numero di GQ China, e nella sfilata di Mugler Homme. Meglio quattro volte che una sola, e quando ho parlato con Daniela per un piccolo articolo che abbiamo pubblicato sull'edizione del giornale uscita domenica scorsa, mi ha detto che si sentiva molto felice ed onorata di veder i suoi modelli associati a questi lavoro di stylist, e faceva persino un po' la misteriosa non volendo rivelarmi che cosa hai in testa per lanciara la sua carriera una volta finiti gli studi. Be', suppongo che ce ne renderemo conto e che vedremo dove va l'ambiziosa Daniela con il suo lavoro di, direi quasi, designer di costumi ...

that's the Céline version of Daniela's verve, I would say
(all images courtesy of Daniela Karlinger)


CAR SPOTTING Renault Caravelle

a chance meeting with a hidden treasure

... did I ever tell you that I truly and deeply and madly love OLD cars, as in AUTOMOBILES? Well, I guess I didn't (and I don't even know why it never occurred to me... too much into fashion and consorts, I reckon), but I still do. My love with cars goes back a long way, as it were, since I think I knew most car brands and models when I was a small child - and my dear dear dear great-aunt, with who I spent lots of time (I actually preferred staying at her place by far to kindergarten, which I loathed), would always be eager to test my knowledge. When all of a sudden I was able to read, a year or so before starting school, what adults generally told me was that I learned the alphabet by reading and incessantly checking car brands (that's actually what I'm inclined to believe until today, even though there is a faint chance my great-aunt consciously taught me to read little by little and I forgot all about it). So, in a way, it was maybe cars that brougth me to study comparative literature later on. ANYHOW, there is that wonderful and non-descript garage in Vienna where they routinely repair and sell new Renault cars, but there is also that one Renault Caravelle model on display: the Caravelle was produced from 1958 through 1968, and it was conceived for the Amercian market, which makes it look so, well, un-French in a way. An adorable little car indeed, I would like to say (and it faintly reminds me of Columbo's Peugeot, too) ... juste quelques peu de mots en français, mais je me suis dit que je pourrais ENFIN partager avec vous, mes chers lecteurs, ma grande passion pour les voitures. D'accord, "grande passion", c'est peut-être un peu exagéré, mais ce n'est pas moins vrai que, depuis mon enfance, j'ai toujours eu un grand penchant pour les belles automobiles, et cet intérêt ne m'a pas encore complètement abandonné (même si, absurdement, et vu les circonstances dans lesquelles j'ai passé mon permis, je ne conduis pratiquement pas...). Quand bien même je préférerais de loin, dans la plupart des cas, les modèles anciens à ceux qui sont lancés aujourd'hui, appelez-moi donc un automobiliste empêché nostalgique, je ne puis vous contrarier. Quoi qu'il en soit, quel bel exemplaire de la Renault Caravelle est-ce que je n'ai pas découvert à Vienne, chez un voiturier point spécialisé dans la (re)vente de voitures anciennes. Un rêve d'automobile conçue pour le marché américain par la grande marque française, et produite tout au long des années 60. Pas mal, hein ? ... e, per finire, qualche parola sul mio amore per gli automobili, soptrattutto le macchine non completamente contemporanee (troppo "slick" per i miei gusti, più spesso che no), mi sono dunque detto che avrei potuto cominciare a parteggiare questa passione piuttosto teorica (siccome non guido, sfortunatamente, sebbene abbia la patente...) ed orientata verso il passato con voi, cari lettori. Eccovi dunque un esemplare del modello Caravelle prodotto da Renault per il mercato americano da 1958 e 1968, una bella macchina che ho visto in una carozzeria viennese per niente stravagante ...



from Paris 1900 to Santa Monica, CA

... when I recently went to California (I already told you about that trip and about how much I was looking forward to it), I couldn't help but notice (SURPRI-HISE!?) that the beautiful "ville des lumières", the capital of style and glamour, the Parnasse, as Paris likes to call itself, is highly cherished by the people in California just as much as anywhere else in the US (Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" will very eloquently point out just those beautiful feelings, I reckon) ... lors de mon récent séjour en Californie, j'ai pu me rendre compte que, dans cet état perpétuellement ensoleillé (enfin bon), la ville des lumières, la capitale de l'hexagone, le Parnasse, bref, Paris Paname, fascine et excite autant les Californiens que tous les autres Américains, et enfin, pas mal de gens de partout ...

my favourite Paris find: "Paris Colors for Smart Occasions"
in a shop window in the ghost town Bodie

... in Santa Monica (Main Street) I came across this beautiful store selling vintage fashion called PARIS 1900, and owner Susan Lieberman definitely brought together some very beautiful period pieces, specialising on fashion from Paris between 1900 and 1930. Apparently (according to the website), garments from her store appeared as props and costumes in various film productions (hello, H-O-L-L-Y-W-O-O-D !!!). Definitely a good address for all Los Angeles-based lovers of Paris ... ainsi, par exemple, j'ai trouvé cette jolie petite boutique qui s'appelle PARIS 1900, située à Santa Monica, Main Street. La propriétaire Susan Lieberman a découvert sa passion pour la mode française, parisienne, pendant son enfance passée à Genève, elle se spécialise sur la mode des trois premières décennies du vingtième siècle, et des vêtements de sa boutique ont déjà fait leur apparition dans de très grandes productions hollywoodiennes ...

Paris in Las Vegas, of course, and French fashion as the epitome
of all things stylish (and murderous)

... and apart from interesting references to French culture (and style and fashion, in Los Angeles of course, even more omnipresent in Las Vegas which, I am aware of that, is not in California) in numerous and most different places, there was the absolute highlight in terms of hommage to the French - in the Californian ghost town Bodie (a state park since the 1960s), we were marvelling at all kinds of relicts from times past, and in one of the well preserved shop windows, there was this nice little fashion magazine, advertising "Paris Colors for Smart Occasions" on its cover - a truly charming SOUVENIR PARISIEN, right then, right there ... en dehors de toutes les manifestations du grand enthousiasme pour le style et le savoir-vivre parisiens, omniprésents en Californie, et, bien sûr, à Las Vegas, l'incarnation parisienne la plus originale, je l'ai trouvée dans la vitrine d'un magasin abandonné dans la ville-fantôme Bodie, qui est devenue un parc naational dans les années 60. N'est-ce pas joli, en quelque sorte, qu'une revue de mode, affichant "PARIS COLORS FOR SMART OCCASIONS" ait pu survivre juste là, évidence plus ou moins muette, mais s'offrant à tous ceux qui sont prêts à y faire attention, à cette grande fascination que portent les Américains au style de Paris, et ce, de si longue date ...


EXTRA baggy

Mathias Lippitsch is the director of Kostümhaus and founder of Wien Zwölf

... last week I talked to Mathias Lippitsch, the director of Vienna's Kostümhaus, one of the city's best-known and most notable costume rentals, which also collaborates with various theatres and film production companies. Now, the basic idea that led to the launch of the brandnew label Wien Zwölf in late 2010 was to optimize the capacities of Kostümhause's own workshops and develop a brand and product of their own. This ended up being a beautiful bag which immediately became very popular - one of the reasons is that a lot of stylists come to Kostümhaus, and they usually carry large bags around with them (the standard equipment is a yellow Ikea bag, as most of you will know). Well, to cut a long story short, the Wien Zwoelf bag was introduced some months ago, a sample collection is currently on its way to Australia or so it would seem, and an order was already placed by a shop from San Francisco. A beautiful success story indeed. And a sustainable one, too - as the bag is made of a mix of new and recycled material (read: kitpack, felt, firefighter's hose, parachute), and as an extra goody there is the included shopping bag that you can unfold to store away your grocery shopping - that's a nicely versatile design approach, I find ...

the bag that comes complete with a plastic bag made of recycled parachute material

... il y a quelques jours, je suis allé parler avec Mathias Lippitsch, c'est le directeur d'une vraie institution viennoise, à savoir le soi-disant KOSTÜMHAUS, une location de costumes et l'atelier qui produit des costumes pour de nombreuses productions de théâtre et de cinéma. Voilà donc qu'il y a quelques mois, les responsables du Kostümhaus ont cherché une solution pour optimiser les capacités de leur atelier en développant un produit relativement facile à coudre. C'est ainsi que le sac de la marque récemment inaugurée WIEN ZWOELF a vu la lumière du jour, et je trouve que c'est effectivement une solution tout à fait remarquable, à cause des matériaux utilisés (un mélange durable-non durable), et à cause de certaines fonctions comme le "sac en plastique" inclus, fait du tissu d'un parachute recyclé et qui peut être déplié une fois qu'on en a besoin pour ranger les articles qu'on achète dans le supermarché à la fin d'une journée de travail - formidable, n'est-ce pas ? ...

the idea was to optimise the capacitites of the Kostümhaus workshop

... qualche giorno fa sono andato a parlare con il direttore di una vera istituzione viennese, il cosiddetto Kostümhaus che è metà locazione di costumi e bottega dove vengono prodotti i costumi per film e opere teatrali. Per migliorare l'efficienza della bottega, si cercava dunque d'introdurre un prodotto del Kostümhaus stesso. Perciò è stato lanciato il marchio Wien Zwölf qualche mese fa, e poi è anche stato introdotto una molto robusta e funzionale borsa che convince (secondo me), tra altre cose, con un dettaglio doppiamente durabile: un sacchetto di plastica (fatto del tessuto di un paracadute riciclato però...) nascosto nell'interno della borsa che si spiega facilmente e dove spariscono velocemente gli articoli comprati in supermercato alla fine di una lunga giornata di lavoro. Una bella idea, vero? ...

all images courtesy of Wien Zwölf


A SLANTED view (Tobias Wong)

... recently, in San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art/SFMOMA, I discovered a small exhibition of work by American conceptual artist Tobias Wong (1974-2008, read the NY Times obituary here). Wong obviously addressed luxury brands (and fellow artists) in the most original, disrespectful, oblique manner, and created minute aesthetic momentums (would you prefer me to write momenta? no, right?) distorting their, pleaseforgivemedearreaders, "DNA" (ugly PR speech, ghastly, yuck!). Sued by companies such as Issey Miyake or McDonald's because of the provoking nature of some of his work, Mr Wong was one the rebels that contemporary art so desperately needs in order to prove that some cells of resistance persist where luxury-brand-art-foundations have started taking over ...

... récemment, à San Francisco, dans le musée d'art contemporain de la (si belle, si si belle !) ville, le SFMOMA, j'ai fait la découverte de quelques objets créés par le jeune, très talentueux et hélas, défunt artiste Tobias Wong (1974 - 2008), lequel, cela devient très vite très évident, a été l'un des rebelles de l'art conceptuel contemporain, se lovant dans une cellule de résistance aux tentatives des marques de luxe et des maisons de mode de s'approprier pleinement le monde de l'art par le biais de l'ouverture d'espaces d'exposition, de la création de fondations d'art, de la mise-en-œuvre de collections, eh ben voilà, même si cela lui a valu des litiges légaux entamés par des marques telles qu'Issey Miyake par exemple, je trouve tout à fait impressionnant le travail réalisé par Monsieur Wong et je suis très heureux de l'avoir vu, à San Francisco ...

... nellambito del mio soggiorno di qualche giorno nella bellissima città di San Francisco, recentemente, sono anche andato (ma naturalmente, mi direte... eh sì...!) al museo d'arte contemporaneo della città, il quale si chiama SFMOMA. E lì, nel contesto di una mostra dedicata alle interferenze tra design ed arte, ho visto una selezione di oggetti creati dal giovane artista Tobias Wong (1974 - 2008). Le sue creazioni, non di rado inscrivendosi nell'estetica di grandi marchi di lusso, rappresentano una specie molto particolare, e molto adorabile, anche, di pièces de résistance. Tobias Wong, questo è stato molto evidente, rappresentava uno degli ultimi bastioni dell'arte che cerca d'evitare le invasioni (amichevoli? speriamolo pure ...) dell'universo del lusso e della moda, dove, ma lo sappiamo tutti, le fondazioni nascono da tutte le parti, le collezioni d'arte s'espongono nei negozi super esclusivi, le modelle sfilano di fronte ai collezionisti che si sono accomodati in prima fila ...