Mode Suisse / Zurich
Tonight’s Mode Suisse was a very young and refreshing event. I’m afraid this was very obvious in the seating structure and the admission centre. Although it was sweet somehow to be seated by a perfect body double of catwalk trainer Jorge Gonzáles. The announcements were mostly in English while most of the audience was Swiss. Many of them did not speak any other than German and/or French. It was all a little bit chaotic but that is usually what first times are about.
Judging from the audience it was not as strictly fashion as announced. I spotted some casting kick-outs (like this Zazou that everybody seems to know from a German TV show) and quite some styling no-go’s. Black and white only works if you mix it consequently – no cupcake pastels allowed! Petroleum is a colour that is most difficult to dye to match so doing the full look is for advanced dressers only. The chance to find a dress, stocking, boots and a purse in the exact shade is close to utopia. The revival of a past decade does not necessarily mean that you can simply leave your hair the way it has been for the past decade. 90′s bob and 60′s dress are very likely to look very boring in the end. If you cannot walk in sky-high heels you should not wear them – no matter how much you fancy them. No one needs a stork in the audience of a fashion show. But that’s enough style police issues for one event. Let’s start with the good stuff:
Boom Bada Boo: Nino Bollag opened the show. Kaleidoscope prints like Alexander McQueen started already in his stunning 2009 spring/summer collection and over-constructed bras were mixed with shapeless flowing cuts. My favourite style was a navy dress where this strange sounding fusion actually did work out pretty well. I felt very sorry for the models though. Hardly any shoe seemed to fit. But that’s fashion life… The key is to not have any body notice that the shoes are too big…
Kazu was next. This collection reminded me of the earlier and more playful Marni times. Wonderful wrap dresses and a trench coat that could easily meet the international markets’ needs. Still I found some pieces – satin blouson with somewhat Asian artworks – felt misplaced. After all a surprisingly round collection: Female, soft but colourful and alive.
Some students from HEAD Haute Ecole d’Art et de Design Genève were the next to present their designs. The winner of the annabelle Award 2011 (including the exclusive chance to intern at Roberto Cavalli) took part as well: Maxime Rappaz. Confusingly this part of the show was announced in French only but what the hell? I think it is a great idea to integrate the super youngsters a platform although they have not yet entered the business. Students’ designs tend to be much more complex and elaborate – they don’t have to worry about workability in production. Not yet! But the men’s wear totally blew me off! If I was a man I would have tried to steal one or two of those supercool, edgy and modern outfits…
Camilla Fässler‘s pure looks gave our eyes a break after this flood of pleats and fuss. Casual yet elegant dresses in timeless designs made of softly flowing knits and light shirt fabrics swayed down the catwalk. Very ready for the market, I must admit. She should try to get some German and Swedish buyers in her showroom.
We’ve met Javier Reyes last at the Fashion Days Zurich in 2011. And boy, did he grow up! Javier has evolved a lot since November. The draped jersey catsuit opening the show made that clear from the first second. He found a way to combine raw and smooth fabric with female cuts – without overdoing it. And that is very difficult… Hat’s off for this quantum leap!
Claudia Zuber closed the show. She was one of the designers I was really looking forward to seeing after her impressing performance at the Fashion Days Zurich in 2011. While Lykke Li took over the speakers I was not disappointed (thaaaank you!!!!). Fashionable ready-to-wear with that extra little twist in the seemingly plain pieces. Well done!
My favourite Swiss brand (some might have noticed already) Little Black Dress did the opening of the second show. What a glamorous start! I loved the glittery batwing dress and the crew neck black dress. Generally Joanna and Eliane know how to do something very few designers are capable of: create a winter collection without being too dark. They spiced it up with some sparkles and used the usual high quality fabrics that always make you look more sophisticated.
About to place my order I realized that it was Winter 2012-13 only… Well, I’d have to be patient for a couple more months. When I get married I very likely would say Yes in their Sophisticated dress from the White collection…
Asandri tried to work material mix-ups which didn’t always work out well. Only Roberto Cavalli can make fur look fantastic… And one dress reminded me too much of a take-down version of Nino Bollag‘s navy coloured dress from the previous show. Sorry to say: I was not impressed.
Much talked about – much expected from: that was Julian Zigerli. His often knitted men’s wear looked as if a rock star was on holiday: comfy casual chic with a slight touch of grunge here and another touch of form follows function there. I was a little disappointed that the sometimes integrated backpacks were only an exact copy of the classic Eastpack pattern. The general idea was great but it seemed as though the energy level dropped during the creation process and as though there was not enough muse left for an own bag pattern.
How can you look very female in pants? Ask Mademoiselle L. Her satin and chiffon blouses created an almost office friendly style for the grown-up women. Of course, she couldn’t help but add some play- and colourful dresses, too. That balance turned out very well to me. The collection may not have been suitable for a larger sized customer but still very round and sellable.
The male models who presented Marc Stone surprised the audience with very light hues of beige. Naturally darker tones followed right up given that this was still meant for winter… I didn’t see so many eager male faces in a looong time in a fashion shows audience! Over all I found his styles had a much more modern look than Julian Zigerli. The designs were grown-up and wearable but still innovative in pattern and shape. Excellent job, Mister Steiner!
Last but not least was Blackpool by Irene Münger. This seemed to be the wake-up call before the doors opened again: the super colourful outfits, partly with very elaborate graphic artworks felt like a double espresso. What I liked best was the fact that she knows how to use a print to re-shape a pattern optically. Very individual and sophisticated!
Finally I was very impressed with what this rather small countries fashion scene has to offer. Of course, there is still a lot to learn and to improve but some of the Mode Suisse participators could easily show their design internationally without any global buyer noticing their small home market. I’m very much looking forward to the next time!
All photos: copyright by Alexander Palacios. Find him on Facebook here.
“Engel” by Paul Klee @ Kunsthalle / HamburgJuni 10th, 2013
Linda McCartney @ Kunst Haus Wien / ViennaJuni 5th, 2013
Art Basel 2013Juni 4th, 2013
Jo Brauer Pop Up Store / ZurichMai 14th, 2013
Kreislauf 4+5 (2013) / ZurichMai 8th, 2013