For more than twenty five years Andreas Kronthaler has been with Vivienne Westwood. He is the husband and the artistic director of the brand, and is fully involved in the collection of the woman he met at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, whose madness, imagination and talent have conquered the heart of the young Austrian. But his intelligence, his culture and the poet’s soul make him a central figure in the Vivienne Westwood collections.
For the autumn-winter 2017-2018 collection campaign, this Shakespeare lover, Andreas Kronthaler draws a veritable poem with his Austrian roots under the seasoned eye of the German photographer Juergen Teller.
For this collection, three things have inspired him:
« First, the Vienna Tourist Board is celebrating the centenary of the birth of Vienna Modernism. Second, I had to clear my family home and its possessions and my childhood bedroom was postered with reproductions of Klimt paintings. Center pride was Danae receiving the golden shower between her legs – which was the favorite for many years. Third, were two children’s outfits from the Wiener Werkstätten, ‘The Vienna Workshops’ (1908-1932). One is a felt two-piece costume raw-cut, decorated with alpine flowers and the second, a glorious little ‘Dirndl’. We changed the cut but kept the childish proportions. I got very interested in the period after the First World War which began as a period of hope for peace. »
Maybe the most moving part is the secret of himself which he transmits in his creations and whose modernity breaks with the conventions of the present fashion:
« The realisation at the end was that I see myself as an Austrian designer. It was about acknowledging my nationality and giving shape to my identity; the landscapes, the people, their costumes, they are my roots. […]I prefer when people choose not to show everything, it is more interesting what you hide. I don’t dislike any body shape, there is too much emphasis put on it nowadays. I like the eyes and the face and I love hands and feet. Men and women in suits! It adds formality to our relationships. It is good not to be part of any scene or movement. I think it’s cool to be out of place or awkward, insecure, overdressed, weak, romantic, in love… This collection is a tribute to the Wiener Werkstätten.”
Written by Saskia Maitrepierre