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spring/summer 2010

Art Nouveau, Wiener Werkstätte, Vasarely... and fashion

'Vasarely goes graffito' is the title of House of Boing's new collection which shows influences from the Wiener Werkstätte, MAC cooperates with Liberty of London for a bohemian chic makeup collection, Van Cleef & Arpels exhibits the 'Atlantis' collection at Bond Street, London.

Fashionoffice has selected artful pieces from the collections mentioned above and combined them with items from Diesel for a 'Swinging London' Spring Style outfit and has asked the Viennese designer from House of Boing about her work.

fig.: original beginning with the...

'Liberty' is a designer store in London. Recently - in Feb 2010, Liberty opened the new 'Arts and Crafts Department' with furniture, textiles, metalwork on its 4th floor with focus on the company's heritage (furniture, textiles, metalwork).

In the late 19th/early 20th century, Arthur Liberty, the owner of the shop that he founded in 1875, was inspired for home ware and fashion by the exotic prints and textiles that he has found on his travels to Japan and the East.

Since the 1890ies, at a time when in Europe the profession 'designer' began to become important for the industrial production, the store started collaborations with English designers from the Arts and Crafts and the Art Nouveau movement.

The 'Swinging London Girl' makeup look created by the artists of the US cosmetic label MAC is inspired by the bohemian chic and the British humour that are significant for Liberty.

House of Boing, a collaborative label of designers, musicians, photographers, actors..., was started by the Vienna-based Sandra Bamminger in 2000. Before, Sandra Bamminger has studied at Central Saint Martins and worked for Clements/Ribeiro, Jessica Ogden and Eley/Kishimoto. Since 2000, House of Boing has exhibited and shown the products of the collaborations in London, Paris, Vienna, New York, etc.

Question: Is the dress’ main material golden silk with a print blue?
House of Boing, Sandra Bamminger: "Yes, the dresses main bodice is golden silk that has been printed light blue, which gives it quite bright blue effect all over. I find it a nice contrast to the sleeve's hem edging which has been printed in a silvery white on greyish blue."

Question: Have you intended to apply a Wiener Werkstätte appeal to the dress? It looks like a homage to the painting ‘The Kiss’ by Gustav Klimt.
House of Boing: "Wow, that's a lovely compliment. I have been researching Wiener Werkstätte for years, I am a real fan. (Wouldn't it be great to come up with a bright young current version too?) For this collection I hadn't really been thinking about it. It was a real continuation of prints based on Op(tical) Art, especially the black and white contrast paintings by the Hungarian Artist Victor Vasarely (who never gets proper mention or credit for the Artform he practically invented). My last collection had mostly worked with photographic imagery turned into high density graphic contrast print. This collection is an evolution of these ideas and has more handpainted effects and a lot of animal imagery added. If you see Wiener Werkstätte I am truly flattered."

Question: Are you using silk screen printing?
House of Boing: "Yes I use silk screen prints. Its a great technique...always the same stencil, print, screen, yet always a different effect. Never exactly the same idea twice. Andy Warhol did really have the right idea. Brilliantly arty, yet commercial. I have now found a really great studio down the Schottenfeldgasse too which is just brilliant."

Question: Have all of your dresses from the SS2010 collection special prints?
House of Boing: "Nearly all of them. There is a ready to wear collection and more a collection with more sculptural detail for those special occasions. The two sides to my clothes-making are always evolving, combining and meeting halfway, chasing one another, playing hide and seek."

Question: At the first glance, the tailoring of the dress looks European rural (wide skirt and short wide arm). But at the shoulder you are using an Asian inspired pattern (Kimono-sleeve) for manufacturing a seamless shoulder. The orange-yellow dress from your collection seems strongly influenced from Asian culture. What have you inspired for these designs?   
House of Boing: "Yes, people do see European styles, or dirndl styles... I was actually using 50s style dresses and patterns for inspiration, then somewhere along came the kimono sleeve style and got added on."

Question: Has the collection a title or a theme? 
House of Boing: "The extended collection I am currently working on is actually called Vasarely goes graffito."

Source: Original article with images on


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