At the heart of the young, national fashion and design scene, there is a pulsating hub for emerging talents – the Herbstrasse School of Art and Fashion. Their contribution to MQ VIENNA FASHION WEEK 2023 challenged conventional, contemporary notions of fashion and showcased a new Viennese wave of free-flowing designs.
The most significant feature of the Herbststrasse show was evidently its diversity, both within the mini-collections themselves and in their presentation. The collective showcase of the students was a reflection of their generation, as well as a stroll past the showrooms of the next young designers for the audience. The fusion project of different styles, influences, and genres was held together by an atmospheric DJ set ‘for after dark awakenings.’ Onstage, there unfolded a cross-genre display of fashion, craftsmanship, innovation, and the omnipresent veil of self-expression. The students created an eclectic range of designs, palpably drawing inspiration from various subcultures, eras, and aesthetics. Behind the sculptural, plastic pieces, multifunctional approaches, plus-size lingerie, loose crochet combinations, and a lot of transparency, draping, and cut-outs, were noticeably the individual artistic explorations of each designer. In a streamlined world where fashion can feel homogeneous and repetitive, the Herbstrasse School of Art and Fashion show was a justified rebellion. The creations from the Herbstrasse show were experienced by the full audience as wearable statements that questioned conventions and delved into the boundaries between fashion and art with elaborate details, alternative materials, and avant-garde silhouettes. Kudos to the courage.