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Monday, June 15, 2009

Class Conscious

The fashion master class at Vienna's University of Applied Arts is in for a dramatic change with the exit of visiting professors Raf Simons and Véronique Branquinho. After nine years of Antwerp purism, Bernhard Willhelm has just been confirmed as Véronique's successor in the fall, making the university's 2009 runway show last week all the more sentimental.

Without a doubt the next darling of Vienna's fashion scene is Tbilisi-born George Beshanizhvili, who presented his second consecutive Devendra Banhart-inspired collection, earning him a spot in London's Graduate Fashion Week...

photos courtesy George Bezhanishvili

Though only in her second year, Aya Nonogaki is definitely one to watch, if surreal, Schiaparelli-style humor is your thing...

Aya Nonogaki, photos Shoji Fujii

Dimitrije Gojkovic made a convincing case for unisex minimalism, even if we've seen a lot of that lately. It'll be interesting to see what happens under Bernhard Willhelm's guidance...

Dimitrije Gojkovic, photos Shoji Fujii

Leave it to graduate Franziska Fürpass to create the only sophisticated ladylike look, incredible though it may seem...

Franziska Fürpass, photos Michael Dürr

Another graduate, Astrid Deigner sent out a high-waisted mafioso look with comically large hats. Dick Tracy says hello...

Astrid Deigner, photos Michael Dürr

—Daniel Kalt for Austrianfashion.net

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Vienna Calling, and Catwalking

It seems like there are more Fashion Weeks around the world than there are weeks in the year. And why not? Who wouldn't want a slice of the glamour cake? Or strudel, in the case of Vienna's 9 festival, where ten days of fall collections, award ceremonies and gallery shows just wrapped. These are our runway picks...

The show-stopper of the week—even with its impossible-to-pronounce Icelandic title—came from Vienna's best-known talent, menswear designer Ute Ploier. Intelligent, sharply tailored and perfectly sophisticated, it was the logical apogee of an evolution that started in 2003, when she won the Hyères festival.

Ute Ploier, photos Shoji Fujii

Queen of jersey and the brain behind Awareness & Consciousness, Christiane Gruber nevers stops reworking the free-floating silhouette of her refined yet simple jumpsuits and tunics, often hand-dyed. Her current collection earned her a one-year sponsorship.

Christiane Gruber, photos Bettina Komenda

Young and petite, Ali Zedwitz already spent a year at Jil Sander in Milan when she graduated from university with a collection reminiscent of Gareth Pugh, which earned her a scholarship to spend a year abroad—preferably in Japan, we hear. Konichiwa!

Ali Zedwitz, photos Gregor Titze

Peter Holzinger is the creative mastermind behind Superated. With its nicely cut jackets and sexy pants, his fall collection, "Frightening & tempting," was certainly the second rather than the first. What's more, with the dotted long johns, Peter seems to be getting ready for Bernhard Willhelm, who's reported to replace Véronique Branquinho as a visiting fashion professor at Vienna's University of Applied Arts in the fall.

Superated, photos Klaus Vyhnalek

In a way, Thomas Kirchgrabner for Liska is Vienna's Peter Dundas for Révillon. His reinvention of fur was witty (is that a tartan pattern in the fur?), although we weren't crazy for the lacy leather cutouts dangling at the bottom of some of the dresses.

Liska, photos Andreas Tischler & Juergen Hammerschmid

Whoever thinks the cheeky pick 'n' mix style is exclusive to Berlin is proved wrong by Christina Berger's decidedly trashy take on fashion, for which she received a generous award provided by the City of Vienna.

Christina Berger, photos Sonny Vandevelde

You'll either love or hate House of the Very Island's slouchy men's silhouette, if you can call it a silhouette, but you have to respect anyone going green these days.

House of the Very Island's, photos Klaus Vyhnalek

—Daniel Kalt, in collaboration with Austrianfashion.net

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