SHOW OFF. Austrian fashion design
Exhibition at the MAK, Vienna, AT
14.02. - 30.08.2020

Show off. Austrian fashion design, MAK Vienna

FATEEVA - Season 2 Campaign, DEF04 Sneaker, 2018
© Lisa Edi and Daniela Trost, Art Direction –

Starting on14 February 2020, the MAK will be the stage for the most outstanding contemporary fashion designed/made in Austria. As the first comprehensive major exhibition of its kind, SHOW OFF. Austrian Fashion Design will invite visitors to engage with Austrian fashion in an international contexton multiple levels. Guest curator Ulrike Tschabitzer-Handler, together with guest co-curator Andreas Bergbaur and Brigitte Winkler as scientific advisor, will orchestrate an extraordinary time travel through fashionin a spectacular setting: spatial installations by architect Gregor Eichinger will set the scene for a course through Austrian fashion avant-garde from the 1980s until today.

The centerpiece of the MAK exhibition will bea huge, 6.5m tall, light, and openly structured sculpture in the central room of the MAK exhibition hall. It will be accessibleon several levels and make a direct experience of approximately 250 fashion objects possible: clothing, shoes, bags, as well as jewelry by approximately 60 designers. The transparentarchitecture will allow for 360-degree viewing of the exhibits.

In this spectacular fashion tower, reduced designs will be contrasted with sweeping silhouettes, dazzling surfaces, or experimental techniques and materials. Conceptional approaches and sociocritical manifests will face traditional and historical sources of inspiration. Reminders of the Wiener Werkstätte, traditional Austrian garments (Tracht), and Adolf Loss’ aesthetic heritage will enter into a dialogue with global scenarios.

Revolutionary designs by two of the most influential fashion iconswillform the starting pointof this center of the exhibition: Rudi Gernreich, an American of Austrian descent, whose designs revolutionized the global approach to fashion from LA in the late 1970s, and Helmut Lang, fashion star and artist with Austrian roots living in New York, will represent examples for the potential of the local fashion scene.

Additionally, large prints by 34 fashion photographerswill draw attention to the culture of visual expression of fashion. Many of the represented photographers work in an international context and have contributed to the international standing ofAustrian fashion design. Around this core of the exhibition SHOW OFF. Austrian Fashion Design, three additional storylines will unfold:

The impressive video installationtalking heads will bring more than 20 prominent figures—model agents, stylists, journalists, organizers of fashion shows—directly into the exhibition. In interviews, they will viewthe local fashion scene critically and express visionary perspectives.

The educationin fashion at the University of Applied Arts Vienna is considered to be of the most renowned on an international level. Starting with the appointment of Karl Lagerfeld, an internationally acclaimed designer, as professor at the “Angewandte,”rector Oswald Oberhuber launched a radical innovation boostin the early 1980s.Further stars like Jil Sander, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Vivienne Westwood, Helmut Lang, Raf Simons, or Lucy & Luke Meierwere to follow. A media installation by Lumine, a group of projection artists, will set the stage for outstanding works from the last 40 years of fashion education at the “Angewandte.”

SHOW OFF. Austrian Fashion Design will alsoreview the sociocultural circumstances and perception of Austrian fashion. First editions of the magazine WIENER, the voice of the avant-garde in the 1980s, will be representedjust as the magazines ahead, Flair, Divaor Indie. Videos will bring legendary shows of the U-fashion back to life. An outline of the history of fashion initiatives and a look into the archives of fashion expert Brigitte Winkler will provide new insights into the Austrian fashion scene. 

The extensive research work for the exhibition will provide a sound foundation for a structured extension of the MAK Collection in the area of contemporary Austrian fashion design.

Exhibition Dates: 14 February–12 July 2020
Opening Hours: Tue 10 a.m.–9p.m., Wed–Sun 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

more information:

© Günter Parth

Rudi Gernreich, Knitted wool dress, fall 1971, Model: Peggy Moffitt
© William Claxton, Courtesy Demont Photo Management

Marina Hoermanseder, Hour Glass Vase 1, FW 15/16, Model: Irma Spies
Styling: Nina Petters, Hair and Make Up: Patrick Glatthaar
Art Direction & Graphic Design: Esther Schwarz, Postproduction: px1 Berlin
Location: GDR museum apartment, © Stefan Armbruster

Arthur Arbesser, SS 19, LOOK 13
© Henrik Blomqvist

MAK Exhibition View, 2020, SHOW OFF. Austrian Fashion Design
MAK Exhibition Hall, © Ditz Fejer/MAK

MAK Exhibition View, 2020, SHOW OFF. Austrian Fashion Design
MAK Exhibition Hall, © Ditz Fejer/MAK

MAK- museum of applied arts
Stubenring 5, A-1010 Vienna

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