The Heritage Studio

Timeless interview with Viennese designer Arthur Arbesser

By Sissi Macchetto IMG_0157 Arthur’s fashion embodies the Viennese sentiment of Gemütlichkeit, a philosophical state of mind which derives from the adjective Gemüt , whose meaning “heart, mind, temper, feeling” implies a feeling of peace and belonging. It’s not hard to imagine him sketching his new collection under the notes of a waltzer, relentlessly searching for that feeling, that harmony which is reflected in the solid structure and simple lines of his new designs. His promising talent was celebrated in 2013 when, thanks to the ability of giving shape to a contemporary attitude with an utterly free “mixage”, he co-won with Esme Vie Vogue WHO IS ON NEXT? 2013 edition. The same ability turns out in Arthur’s Fall Winter 2014 collection, where simplicity and androgynous, geometrical forms are combined whit the use of transparencies, which seem to celebrate the feeling of freedom breathed during the years Arthur was a student at Central St Martins, while soaking up the many inputs of London artistic buzz.The combination of unconventional materials recalls as well those experiments with unusual materials and gaudy colours distinctive of the Memphys style that developed in Milan during the 80s under the influence of Ettore Sottsass, whose objects harmoniously “conversed”  with Arthur’s clothes when they were presented in the apartment of architect Luca Cipelletti, during last Milan Fashio n Week.

MatthiasAschauer__DSC8857_BW_1800px_srgbArthur’ s Timeless Interview H: Do you belong more to the past, the present or the future?

A: My mind is often romantically linked to the past..but I actually feel best in the present.

H: What of your country’s heritage represents you the most?

A: The Austrian/Viennese sense of “Gemütlichkeit”.

H: Something of your family’s heritage which you would like to bring forward? A: The continuous idea of collecting beautiful things.

H: An heritage image?

A: The Christmas dinner table set up.

H: A place?

A: Will always be Vienna..a place synonymous with heritage for me.

H: A word?

A: Tradition

arthur_arbesser2 - CopyH: A sound?

A: It may sound kitsch but it has to be a Strauss’s Waltz.

H: An icon?

H:Anyone who knows her limits, knows how to move and knows how to effortlessly respect certain rules.

H: An object belonging to your own heritage?

A:My precious 12 bright green Lobmeyr wine glasses from my great-great-grandmother.

H: A time in history you would like to live again? 

A: I’m pretty happy right now…but maybe Vienna around 1900 but also the late 80s/early 90s, from a fashion point of view.

H: Timeless inspiration for your new collection?

A: Milan’s architecture of the 20s, Wiener Werkstaette, Memphis Design and Joy Division. H: Something from your present meant to become heritage?

A: Suzy Menkes’s article of my last collection in the International New York Times

Photos : Courtesy of Arthur Arbesser  

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