Austrian Fashion Awards

Austria, the country that produced Helmut Lang, Rudi Gernreich, and Hattie Carnegie, celebrated its best young fashion designers with an award ceremony that kickstarted the five-day Take Festival in Vienna.

Emceed by the Finnish-born burlesque artist Denice Bourbon, the winners of the Austrian Fashion Awards were announced. They included Leopold Bossert, who designs dark men’s tailoring with visible stitching; Marie Oberkönig, who favors pure and spare lines for women; Flora Miranda, whose extravagant sci-fi dresses looked reminiscent of Iris Van Herpen’s (well, no wonder, they used to work together); and Bradaric Ohmae, who took home an accessory award for their bags mixing leather and cane-work.

Although Hvala Ijala didn’t win a prize, his terrific urban menswear, in the vein of some contemporary British and Russian designers, was a fashion high point of the week. His red Marlboro blouson jacket is an absolute winner. Here is a talent to watch. The brand DMMJK’s bird prints on fluid skirts also had an irresistible charm.

The festival, which was housed in a seductively gritty old post office building, offered many talk, shows, and art installations, including a photo exhibition by Elfie Semotan, the photographer who was a fixture on Helmut Lang’s hallowed rue de Commines runways back in the 1990s. Her pictures, notably a series presenting a girl posing on a floor as if automated, were among the highlights, proving that each time you associate the words “Austria” and “fashion,” Helmut’s name is never very far away.


Flora Miranda

Flora Miranda

Flora Miranda

Elfie Semotan

Moritz Gottschalk

Sabine Ott

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