AK For Vivienne Westwood AW2017/18 Collection

My life is guided by accidents and occurrences which I can’t and I don’t want to control. There are three circumstances which pointed me to make this collection. First, the Vienna Tourist Board is celebrating the centenary of the birth of Vienna Modernism. Second, I had to clear my family home and its possessions and my childhood bedroom was postered with reproductions of Klimt paintings. Center pride was Danae receiving the golden shower between her legs – which was the favorite for many years.

Third, were two children’s outfits from the Wiener Werkstätten, ‘The Vienna Workshops’ (1908-1932). One is a felt two-piece costume raw-cut, decorated with alpine flowers and the second, a glorious little ‘Dirndl’. We changed the cut but kept the childish proportions. I got very interested in the period after the First World War which began as a period of hope for peace.

And then the danger of things we once knew slipping away. History interests me because it throws light on the now.

The realisation at the end was that I see myself as an Austrian designer. It was about acknowledging my nationality and giving shape to my identity; the landscapes, the people, their costumes, they are my roots. It took me a while to understand the importance of where I was from.

I am lucky to have grown up in that caring community. I ended up in London because of my relationship to Vivienne and our work and it is important to me.

I prefer when people choose not to show everything, it is more interesting what you hide. I don’t dislike any body shape, there is too much emphasis put on it nowadays. I like the eyes and the face and I love hands and feet.

Men and women in suits! It adds formality to our relationships.

It is good not to be part of any scene or movement. I think it’s cool to be out of place or awkward, insecure, overdressed, weak, romantic, in love… This collection is a tribute to the Wiener Werkstätten.

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