Akris A/W 2018

Akris A/W 2018

Mood Board: In the era of #MeToo, it’s tempting for fashion to resort to so-called ‘feminist’ gimmicks to make a statement. But that’s not Albert Kriemler’s style. The Swiss designer has a knack for subtlety and a way to avoid anything too loud or obvious. Still, in the dawn of a new feminist movement, he was thinking of the place women hold in the public arena, especially in creative businesses. It prompted him to look back in order to reflect on the future, picking 1900s Vienna as his source of inspiration. Overblown drawings by Egon Schiele (who, not a month ago, was at the centre of a controversy involving the #TimesUp movement and his erotic works) decorated the venue. Kriemler was thinking of Alma Mahler-Werfel’s salon, Madame d’Ora’s photographs and Adele Bloch-Bauer’s suffragism at a time when the position of women in society was changing dramatically… actually, much more than today.

Best in show: If the inspiration was historical, the execution stayed clear of any too literal references. Instead, it distilled every 1900s influence into a luxurious, contemporary wardrobe for a modern woman; not a socialite or a lady of leisure, but a truly active woman. Which explained the abundance of masculine trousers, worn with silk chiffon blouses, tuxedo blazers or chunky knits. As in every strong woman’s wardrobe, leather was omnipresent, in the shape of pencil skirts and jackets featuring zipper details that could open, nodding to an art nouveau silhouette. Even the evening gowns – minimal, sleeveless chiffon numbers – were designed to be lived in. The only openly historical concession Kriemler made to 1900s Vienna was in the palette, a mix of emerald greens, electric blues, light burgundy and golden yellow reminiscent both of Schiele and Gustav Klimt.

Finishing touches: Accessories were low key, the only exception being the handbags, some of them big enough to carry all of a woman’s essential possessions, most of them more moderately sized, but – even the evening ones – still able to hold way more than just a lipstick and an ID card. There were ultra chunky scarves too – yet another nod to feminine comfort and freedom.

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