I just returned from two weeks in Austria with my boyfriend, and remembered I had a blog and was trying to think about what to write next. Then it dawned on me, I don't know anything about Austrian fashion. I can't say I've ever heard of an Austrian fashion designer, but it just may not have been on my radar before. I rather literally googled "Austrian fashion" just to see what happened, and there it was, the world of Austrian fashion all in one place.
Austria found its place in fashion back in 2004 when 6 Austrian designers decided to present collections in Paris and create an awareness for themselves. Today, the amount of designers represented by the site reaches 107, in womenswear, menswear, jewelry design, and accessory design. I looked through the list, not thinking I'd recognize anybody, and caught sight of "Devi Kroell" ... sound familiar? If you don't remember, Kroell did a collection for Target a few years ago that was a huge success. Famous for her architectural tendencies, she made her way into fashion with her famous python bag and crystallized wooden clutches, debuting her first collection in Spring 2004. Unfortunately she has resigned from the company, but as you can see her designs still stand strong.
So who and what else is Austria quietly influencing us with? The front page resembles a simpler and slightly more accessible Style.com, with daily news, interviews, and reviews of shows and events. Much of the news is currently over Fashion's Night Out or various fashion weeks in other cities, but I was interested in finding something native. For example, an article on smart textiles (something I have been playing with in my mind for my experimental design class coming up). The fabrics appear to contain lights, sensors, and other practical functions.
Another article covers the backstage events of the Life Ball 2010 in Vienna (an event for AIDS / HIV), makeup done by MAC Cosmetics and featuring designs by Diane von Furstenberg, Kenneth Cole, and Calvin Klein (an American theme, no doubt). Among those in attendance were Dita von Teese, Leigh Lezark, and Bill Clinton. The event took place in the Vienna city hall building, which I passed by in a car during my trip.
While my severe language limitations on reading the rest of the site's information keeps me from telling you more, it has at least made itself clear that Austrian fashion is successful and widely influential. After all, it takes a huge amount of publicity and past heroic efforts on the runway to get chosen by Target for their trickle-down line. Makes you wonder what the rest of the countries in the world are hiding.