We drive on U3, heading for Ottakring. Our final destination – Herbststrasse 104. After a short walk, we are there. White, big building is in front of us. We hesitate a bit, as this is not just any building. It is a school, the first school we are entering in Austria. As soon as we pass the main doors and take a look around, it is clear that this is a place of the creative people. Young, vibrant, artistic, inspired. No wonder, since this is how a fashion and art school should look and feel like. Climbing up the stairs, we admire the drawings and diverse art work hanging on the walls. Few seconds later, there it is – classroom number 210. The moment of silence, as we are about to interrupt a class and wonder how is the teacher going to react to that. Knock, knock. The doors open, and there is a sense of relief as there is no perplexed teacher behind, but Sophie´s smiley face. She is one of the young designers from the Modeakt15 team, who invited us to visit them and see the final works, before their very first fashion show on 6th of March.
The classroom is very big and bright. There are all kinds of fabrics, from digital printed silk to mesh, cotton and leather laying around as well as sewing machines and various tools. The atmosphere is peaceful and positive. Everyone is happy and doing their own thing, and there is usually some good music on in the background. Several Modeakt15 girls are immersed in their work and consulting with their professor, a very pleasant lady.
We are moving on with Sophie, who is taking us to a round tour around the school and telling us about the concept of Herbststrasse. We find out that the classes are divided in small groups, in order to have more space and get more individual approach to the teacher. The greatest advantage of Herbststrasse is that the students are practically trained in diverse aspects of making clothes and working with fabrics. Throughout the study track in fashion design they learn how to sew, make clothes, as well as their own prints, how to color fabrics, to knit (both by using the machines and by hand) and a lot more. Sophie is taking us to different cabinets, showing us the essential tools and explaining us diverse procedures needed to make fabrics and clothes. Furthermore, we are meeting the other two groups of Modeakt15 girls, talk to them, see their designs, models and fittings. And of course make pictures. Lots of them.
The round tour ends where it has previously started. We stay for a while longer, talk to the young designers, hear stories about them and their collections. We learn that the preparations for their first collection had started almost a year ago, what were the steps they needed to pass, how they feel about the Austrian fashion, what are their plans for the future, as well as what will happen to the clothes they made after the fashion show.
Our visit lasted a lot longer than we planned. We are left Herbstrasse with joy for seeing how is clothes made from scratch, but above all fulfilled for getting to meet the passionate, dynamic, creative young designers of the Modeakt15 group.
Looking forward for the 6th of March and their very first fashion show, we are leaving you with short interviews we made with Julia, Sophie and Carmen about their collections.
“Freedom, boundlessness, serenity, courage, and fun with fashion that is what my target audience should represent while wearing my designs. My collection deals with asian street styles, like you can find at https://lycheethelabel.com/blogs/blog/best-online-asian-clothing, and is designed to show people that colors and fabrics can be combined in unexpected yet fascinating ways. My collection harmonies in its imbalance. I was inspired by japanese/english fashion-blogger Susanne Lau. Her blog ‘Style Bubble’ showed me, that there is no possible mismatch in color, fabric or number of clothes one is wearing. In my collection ‘I’moi’ (translated: me-me) there are no fashion-rules or borders, because only by breaking those rules and passing these borders fashion becomes interesting to me as a designer. In order to give the street style-look a high fashion character I used fine lace, noble brocade, flowing silk and flashy sequin. In addition I used digital printing to create fabrics that truly met with my ideas and designs.”
“The name of my collection is “Waking up”. The inspiration for the concept came from the nature. It was a sunny, beautiful day on a meadow. There was a light wind, I could smell the fresh grass, the birds sang – everything was so wonderful and harmonic. I felt happy, relaxed and free. Exactly those emotions and the moment of serenity is what I wanted to capture and embody through my collection. I achieved this by using light, soft fabrics, natural colors and nature-inspired handmade prints. The pieces I made are wearable in any part of the day.
When it comes to fabrics, I have chosen jersey and silk, since they provide the feeling of comfort and freedom. That nature is a very important aspect of my collection, is furthermore evident through the dominant colors of the collection – green, brown and natural white, as well as its uniue prints. I took some pictures and sketched motives from the nature, such as leaves and blossoms. I used those drawings to make my own print for the fabrics. The final result was a very delicate and subtle, dark brown print.”
„Numerous mountains, hills, vallies and rivers characterize the Alpine region Voralberg (eng. the westernmost Austrian federal state). My collection “fernWest” (eng. far West) is inspired by the typical Austrian landscape. At the same time, there is a connection with the Austrian national costume in my designs.
In the valley of Bregenzerwald is this tradition still cherished. Pleated skirts and lavish embroidery are reinterpreted within my collection. Its name, “fernWest” is associated with the geographic location and the nostalgic feelings I have for my homeland. The colors are quite simple, the predominant ones being marine blue and grey. Furthermore I used the golden color to add some details, which accentuate the aspects of the national costume in my “fernWest” collection. “
Thanx a lot for reading!
Una and Isi