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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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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Paris Fashion Week: Day 4

By Rebecca Voight...

It was like a perfect Saturday morning in front of the TV as a child. Jeremy Scott‘s Mouse Trap collection was his best to date. He sent out a gang of Minnies and Mickeys that was cheap, cheerful and full of American staples like romper dresses, perfecto jackets and sneakers from his collection for Adidas in graphic black, white and red—with Rainbow Brites making guest appearances.

Now that his cartoon prints are in their second season on Longchamp canvas bags—the favorite tote of every young girl in Paris—Scott has reestablished his connection to the City of Light, which is where he began in the late 1990s. Since then he has perfected his own print-based style. This time he put cell phone faces on taxi-yellow T-shirts and covered the bags with big telephone receivers. His style is basic, easy and recession-proof in second-skin black and canvas. For his finale, Scott paid homage to Patrick Kelly (the black American designer from the late 80s who also made his name in Paris) by reprising Kelly's multicolored button trompe l'oeil mosaics in bustier shapes and tuxedos.

Jeremy Scott

Ann Demeulemeester is more wrapped up than ever in clothes that are tied like presents. This season she produced silky ethnic embroideries in black on black, curvy fencer's jackets in what looked like wet seal and vests made entirely of little bells. The pants she has always done, low-crotch wraparounds, couldn't be more à propos in this harem-draped season.

Ann Demeulemeester

Veronique Branquinho, who's just been made artistic director at the storied Belgian leathergoods house of Delvaux, finished off Saturday in white satin fit for, as she described it, “a warm-blooded ice queen.” All the Branquinho standards were present: capes, faux bourgeois-pleated skirts and then she took off with Mongolian lamb fur, which puffed up the collars of wrap coats, took over the sleeves and even snaked up the back of spike heels. Branquinho's hot little ice queen is very night-for-day in satin sheaths with sequin insets everywhere, 20s' flapper wraparound dresses and leggings with diamond-shaped peepholes up the back.

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