Located in the heart of Basel, looking out onto the Rhine, the Institute of Fashion Design is an incredible location for its body of undergraduate and Master’s students. Doing Fashion, the Swiss design school, will be moving out of the glorious building that was once military barracks to new quarters this year, but before doing so, celebrated another year of successful apprenticeships in the art of design with the graduate show. Eighteen graduates were showing their final collections, so there was a wealth of creations to catch our attention: from impeccable cuts and experimental tailoring, to an incredible mastering of textures and textiles. Schön! reviews the highlights of the show.
The collection shown by Margot-Helena Heuberger demonstrated a mature and sensitive approach to material, with leather pieces crafted into sleek modern silhouettes. The notched leather designs hung beautifully, working with the natural flowing shapes of the body, and bearing bare skin to the eyes in an ever-so-slightly teasing manner. Margot-Helena’s pieces were both sensual and sleek.
Joëlle Laederach worked with recycled (upcycled, if you will) furs, creating textural patchwork pieces. With a layering of old and new, strikingly made evident with the clear PVC overcoats worn over the fur pieces, Joëlle combined conventional materials with ultra-modern pieces. A particular favourite was the oversized glossy top with stitched detailing.
Elisa Kaufmann sculpted incredible wooden sculptures, with bodices out of carefully folded and shaped wood. From the long, elongated silhouettes with exaggerated shoulders, to the harness-like wooden sculptures, the collection breathed young energy. The interplay between the woollen, sheath-like coats and the soft wooden shapes was particularly delicate.
Ulla Ludwig toyed with layers of textiles, superimposing sheer fabrics over technical foams. With mesh inserts and tasselled pieces, Ulla Ludwig’s silhouettes had a great depth to them. The sporty edge, notably underlined by the materials used, made the collection a particularly urban one.
The designs shown by Denja Kaufmann played with deconstructed accessories, turning handbag handles and soft suedes into the basis for the structure of her pieces. A notable highpoint was the oversized patchwork houndstooth coat, which used wools and furs to recreate the effect of the classic print. The tactile edge to the collection was what had us most captivated.
Janina Butz closed the graduate show, and as the name of the presentation had forewarned, the staged burned when the models hit the runway. The performance touched on a heritage which the Riot Grrrl movement pioneered, with screaming, head-banging and patriarchy-smashing. The designs were brilliantly tongue-in-cheek, rejecting all cushioned images of femininity, and bearing genitalia prints as a defiant stand in the face of all things normative.
With this striking concluding performance, the graduate show came to a close. The breadth of styles, and the wide range of designs were a strong testament to the fact that young creativity is rife: whether it was in the minute detailing of the carefully-crafted pieces by Joëlle Laderdach, or the bold statement pieces by Janina Butz, the future of all of the graduates is undoubtedly looking bright.
For more information on Doing Fashion and for a full overview of the graduate collections, click here.
Words / Patrick Clark
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