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Fashionoffice Vienna Insight, August 2012:

"The designer: athlete or rock star?"

...was one of the messages printed on colorful paper dots which were spread over the courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna on 4 August 2012 just at the end of the historical costume 'Catwalk into the past'. While the show ended with Baroque garments, the social critical fashion messages rained over the scenery. The intervention in public space made obvious that 'fashion' means more than 'clothing'. The question "The designer: athlete or rock star?" references provocatively the relative new profession which was established in the beginning of modern times in the 19th century and the ones (athletes, rock stars) who co-create as non-professionals or inspire collections. The first dressmaker who became internationally known by name was a woman. It was Rose Bertin who created the luxurious outfits for the Austrian born, French Queen Marie Antoinette in late Baroque (Rococo) until the aristocrat was imprisoned and executed (1793) during the French Revolution. Many years later caused by the progress of Industrial Revolution and as part of mass production, the profession 'designer' evolved.

Today, the job description confronts designers with new challenges such as sustainable fashion and production processes alongside to new forms of the representation of the own label and the selection of the muses for the seasonal fashion collections which are in our days often inspired by the lifestyles of sports women and men (athletes stand for reliability, measureable performance and fair play after internationally accepted rules such as at the currently running Olympic Games in London), or musicians (keywords: glam, individuality and freedom).

Other messages on the colorful paper dots questioned consumerism, plastic surgery, individualism, fashion as carrier of ideologies, etc. The next historical show 'The History of Fashion' is scheduled on 8 August 2012. Find out more about the show and selected other events of MQ Summer of Fashion on

fig. above and below left: Public intervention with messages on colorful paper dots questioning contemporary fashion. The messages were spread on 4 August 2012 over the main courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier.

fig. below right:
Detail of 'The Stash' racetrack by Martin Markeli. The Outdoor Race Challenge IX is on view until 26 August 2012 in the main court of the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna.

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