Arthur Arbesser: Vienna Calling
For a designer to have a distinctive voice, there has to be a vision.
From the strains of Schubert produced by a piano player’s hands, through to a spread of all-different antique chairs from his native Vienna, Arthur Arbesser knows how to set a scene for his storytelling.
It was a visual leap from art pieces in an abandoned industrial building last season to this Viennese rhapsody, but in the meantime the designer has been shortlisted for this year’s LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize.
Arbesser’s vision is to create the kind of clothes that express current fashion normality, but to make them in exceptional or interesting fabrics.
The designer likes either to source these materials from Austria, or to be inspired by his country’s legacy — hence Loden used in a modern way, and a Wiener Werkstätte-like pattern on a coat.
I liked the mixes of timeless and digital-age fabrics: a shiny silver shirt and skirt, and girlish dresses with a slithery touch were two examples of ‘normal’ clothes made exceptional.
With a handful of models occupying the chairs as they listened to the pianist, there was some idea in this static presentation of how these clothes looked off the rail and on the body.
Angelos Bratis: From Drape to Shape
Looking for a seam in an Angelos Bratis dress is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
The Greek-born designer is not allergic to needle and thread, he just has an exceptional ability to drape and shape.
Showing in an apartment where the owner’s art collection inspired him, Bratis created wraps, pleats and folds in simple fabrics such as wool crepe or viscose jersey.
Based in Milan with a fashion education from Amsterdam, the designer succeeds in taking the Greek heritage of creating a garment using a single piece of cloth, while never turning it into a ‘grand opera’ look.
An interesting development this season was a collaboration with artist Justin Capp, who moulded a leather ‘frame’ to contain body and draped dress.