As luscious and curvaceous as around the day that she was sculpted, the naked lady adorns the 1900 developing in Vienna’s central square. But now this sinuous symbol of the historic Austrian city is being supplied luxurious new garments. A lot of them.
A brand new pedestrian shopping area, to be known as the “Golden Quarter,” continues to be under construction. But even prior to its completion, scheduled for 2014, Louis Vuitton has taken over a historic developing, with Emporio Armani and Miu Miu up the road and a stream of international names from Brioni via Roberto Cavalli to Prada and Saint Laurent lined up to arrive next year.
The refurbished area, nestled in between St. Stephen’s Cathedral as well as the stock exchange within the Unesco Planet Heritage location of Vienna, contains a building from a century ago situated at the Am Hof square as well as the historic Hochholzerhof building within the Tuchlauben location. Louis Vuitton: The Trunk Show – NYTimes.com
The area’s transformation into a pedestrian zone will contain a five-star Park Hyatt hotel and luxury apartments, and the high-end stores.
Wealthy Russians trying to invest in bricks and mortar in addition to a swelling variety of Chinese guests have inspired this gilded buying location inside the heart of a city which has been rejuvenated by the opening up of Eastern Europe. But affluent consumers as well as the super wealthy are not alone in wanting one thing new out of old Vienna.
Far in the touristy central a part of the city, with its grandiose fountains and glorious buildings, there’s another mini-shopping revolution: an outbreak of small stores which are tucked behind the big buying roads or in regions that the locals define as “Bobo” for “Bohemian bourgeois.” A single such area is the seventh district, west of central Vienna.
“We started inside the seventh district, which as soon as housed textiles, silk and embroidery,” mentioned Barbara Irma Denk, whose mission is to open as much as visitors a a lot more modern vision of art, craft and style than the city’s usual offerings of Gustav Klimt’s paintings, cream pastries in period tea shops and upgrades on the classic dirndl skirts.
With the encouragement on the district mayor, Thomas Blimlinger, Ms. Denk founded 7tm (www.7tm.at), a firm that aids market the style and design shops inside the seventh district. (The 7 in the enterprise stands for the district and also the tm stands for trademark.) The corporation began in 2007 by representing 20 to 30 shops and has expanded to cover an region with 57 retailers, with names like Disaster Clothing, Widespread Individuals and Significantly less is More. These indie stores possess a flavor of back-street Berlin and this region on the city, identified as Neubau, features a young, liberal, urban population. Ms. Denk has mapped out a route within the district that provides “adventurous consumers” bespoke tours with the city.
“We changed concentrate from just textile designers to furniture, which is an interesting and superior mixture,” Ms. Denk stated. Her group of independent retailers, following the Viennese tradition of cobblers, craftspeople and textile designers, are usually housed in a part of the solid and spacious buildings created by the architect Otto Wagner when the city was at a pinnacle of prosperity. Louis Vuitton: The Trunk Show – NYTimes.com
The world wide web has helped these fledgling providers to expand beyond their local areas, in order that the bag designer Ina Kent (inakent.com) gets orders from distant places. “Bags inform stories” may be the designer’s mantra – and her tale is of transformation: colorful purses that can be attached to bigger bags that, in turn, can morph, with all the twist of twin straps, into a backpack. As with so many of those homegrown firms, the prices are way down around the luxury labels: from less than €100, or $130, to €350 for the Ina Kent bags.
With Austria and Germany founding lots of “green” movements, Vienna’s indie brands are generally striving for great social and environmental practices, a feeling that runs through the 7tm style collective and is encouraged by Ms. Denk herself.
One particular store inside the district, Madame with a Mission , supports a neighborhood social-economic women’s corporation where the collection is created. The company’s founder, Susanne Kreuzberger, says the organization’s motto is: “Keep it very simple and sophisticated.”
Set in a quiet street near the historic Naschmarkt industry, having a chocolate shop next door plus a “Bananas” antique store down the road promoting 1950s furnishings and lamps, the shop delivers that rare object: fashionable clothes that have no age barriers. Often cut flat plane, or asymmetrically, the colors are minimalist black and white having a trickle of blue. Jars of fresh flowers in the entrance as well as a scattering of bold gilded jewelry total an original and desirable appear.
A further retailer in the location, Faux Fox includes a lineup of talent, as rails are presented to fledgling designers to create a retail style collective, such as a Faux Fox magazine. Mark Stephen Baigent, who is from New Zealand, and Julia Rupertsberger made a Mark & Julia line with intriguing cuts that make the clothing far more than casual sportswear. Cotton bags with funky drawings around the word “Kadaverism” add an anarchic spirit.
Austria and its Tyrol famously had a specific style: The dirndl skirts and white blouses defined by the “Heidi” books. Too closely associated with German nationalism and, like all folklore outfits, an apparently dying trend, the Tyrolean outfits are given an edge of irony by Lena Hoschek, whose folkloric mix of Mexican straw hat, apron dresses and prints of 1950s paper patterns are lined up in her colorful shop. The designer, who shows in Berlin Fashion Week, also has a flourishing business in the Tyrolean outfits worn for weddings.
But to understand the strange beauty of a hat knitted by religious women who made tiny slits for each apostle, a wool and silk coat from a farmer’s wife or a skirt that began its life as a bedcover and has the sewing imprint of different generations, seek out Susanne Bisovsky, who has built a trove of clothing, everything from the ancient to the modern.
As her partner, the shoe designer Josef Gerger, draws back the rose-patterned curtains below the mighty ceilings of a former silk maker’s constructing, a magical collection appears of old garments, found from areas like flea markets or on eBay. There are pleating techniques so uncommon that similar skills are found only in rural China; or a densely patterned Spanish mantilla that Ms. Bisovsky claims is “too perfect” to transform. But a pair of Tyrolean socks have become a high-heeled boot, just because the designer/collector’s full-skirted dresses are modern interpretations of Austria’s heritage.
Ms. Bisovsky’s symbol is the rose, which is often found on tiny ceramic tiles that make up a bodice or because the crochet flowers, nevertheless made by elderly ladies, that create generous bouquets across the room. From folkloric inspiration, Ms. Bisovsky creates a couture collection for private clients where she might use cross-stitch techniques or jet beads.
In the 1990s she developed the famous lace and latex dresses of Helmut Lang, who was once her mentor when she was at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She then distills those ideas as her interpretation of ready-to-wear.
But the Susanne Bisovsky spirit can only be truly appreciated in her magical mix of an interior filled with religious iconography and pixie hat lampshades, of dirndls and vividly patterned dresses, of ancient morphing into modern – a template for a city that cherishes the old but comes alive with injections on the new.
Indonesian Street Artist Mixes Pop With Questions of Identity
Back in January, Louis Vuitton asked the Indonesian street artist Eko Nugroho to help style a new scarf. The luxury brand has become a master of those kind of collaborations, which have come to become identified as “artketing” – combining the globe of fine art with mass consumer marketing – but it has tended toward artists who are far more established internationally, like Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince and most recently Yayoi Kusama. The decision to select Mr. Nugroho was a sign of his quick rise.
It’s not the only one. This year, Mr. Nugroho, 36, who recently made the list of Art + Auction magazine’s “Top 50 under 50,” is participating within the Indonesian Pavilion in the Venice Biennale, which runs by way of Nov. 24.
Mr. Nugroho mixes pop influences with Indonesian motifs and touches on issues of identity and democracy.
For the Louis Vuitton collaboration, Mr. Nugroho made six large oil paintings, using the brand selecting one particular for production – “Republik Tropis,” which portrays a mythical creature whose body is made of tropical fruits and vegetables, with two masked faces peering via the twisted amalgamation.
“This creature is like a compilation in the democratic idea in Indonesia, colorful and complicated, a symbol of today’s society,” Mr. Nugroho said in a recent interview in Singapore. “Our democracy is still very young, not fixed yet.”
Masks are integral to Mr. Nugroho’s visual vocabulary, and he started using them in his practice in 2000. In Indonesia, he said, they are “more about the concept of identity and also the concealment of your true human nature.”
Mr. Nugroho is a part of a generation of artists that emerged because the dictatorial Suharto regime was falling and Indonesia was slowly transitioning toward democracy; and from the start, he has used his works to communicate and engage having a general public, particularly by way of street art.
“I like to develop my work outside during daylight. It’s extra free and flexible and it allows me to interact with persons, sometime asking them to help,” he said. For his new solo exhibition, called “We Are What We Mask,” which opened at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute last week, masks take center stage. Inspired by Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood and Willem Vogelsang’s “Covering the Moon: An Introduction to Middle Eastern Face Veils,” which retraces the history of veils, Mr. Nugroho has made 70 colorful paper works, quite a few of which are wearable. They include things like a series of 10 flat masks that take around the shape in the head covering worn by the women of your Rashaida tribe in Saudi Arabia, and also a series of eight full-face head pieces in absurd shapes and bright neon hues that were made from abaca cotton paper treated with konnyaku, a form of Japanese root- based gelatin, to add strength. All these “face veils” consist of text like “obey and happy” and “prohibited to prohibited” that take on a specific meaning within the Singaporean context where they were made.
“I like strong visuals. I’ve never used such strong colors prior to, sometime they are hurting the eyes, but the underlying idea is still about democracy as well as the freedom,” he mentioned.
Dan Cameron, the chief curator in the Orange County Museum of Art in California, noted in his essay for the Singapore Tyler Print Institute’s exhibition catalog: “For all his potential for caustic observation and critique, Eko is definitely an extremely funny and inventive artist, whose animated forms and characters locate him about midway on the scale amongst Kenny Scharf and Takashi Murakami, with an added dimension of playful gore to bring it into the modern visual idiom of zombies and apocalyptic fantasy.” Mr. Nugroho is also participating in the 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, running through Nov. 17, which Mr. Cameron curated.
Mr. Nugroho’s works were completed during a six-week residency that challenged the technical capabilities with the Singapore institute’s workshop, as it was the first time staff there had sewn paper and assembled such complex forms.
“There is a magic in transforming a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional object, so a single in the significant achievements was making paper which is strong, durable, yet flexible to make these fabric-like mask pieces,” stated the Singapore institute’s chief printer, Eitaro Ogawa, who added that “we worked intensely with wood carvings for this project to give a new boldness and unique character to Eko’s line imagery, usually drawn by the artist in brushstrokes.”
As an additional challenge to the Singapore institute’s staff, Mr. Nugroho asked them to each select their favorite head piece and arrange for themselves to become photographed wearing it in everyday Singaporean scenes – riding the MRT subway, waiting in line at a taxi stand or at a food center. The resulting photographs are also on view.
The coming months will be busy for the artist: He is opening a solo show in October at Arario Gallery in Seoul, and has plans for a solo show in the Lombard Freid Gallery in New York subsequent year. “The new work at Arario is going to be totally different, black and white, so quite a big change,” he stated. For New York, he’s hoping to explore a lot more installation works, with video and murals. “I like to be part of the landscape,” he said having a laugh.