... what a great occasion to revive ParisVienne, which, admittedly, I had neglected these past few weeks and months. Anyhow. There are quite some news: Suzy Menkes (the one fashion critic every fashion critic loves - or loves to hate) was in town to attend the first edition of LINK Jewelry Summit, hosted by the International Herald Tribune. And she wouldn't be one of the world's most prolific fashion writers, had she not seized the opportunity to check out the most luxurious and fashionable sides of Vienna at the same time.
screenshot of the article published by the IHT
But then of course, in a place you are not so familiar with you must rely on the obvious - and on the guides that will accompany you. As far as the obvious is concerned, Mrs Menkes takes a closer look at the city's new "Golden Quarter" in her article entitled "In Seductive Vienna, a New Fashion District" and is quite right when stating that "[w]ealthy Russians looking to invest in bricks and mortar and a swelling number of Chinese visitors have inspired this gilded shopping area in the heart of a city that has been rejuvenated by the opening up of Eastern Europe".
What is of greater interest to anyone warming to the city's radiant fashion scene these past few years though: Mrs Menkes then goes on to examine the local creative crowd and sets out to meet some designers. And I must say, the choices she makes are, at least in part, pretty confusing. While the interest she takes in the work of Lena Hoschek and Susanne Bisovsky is totally justified by repeated appearances of these designers in an international context, I find it interesting that the other names the world's most reputed fashion critic drops in her piece about Vienna are Ina Kent, Madames with a Mission, the Faux Fox fashion showroom and even Barbara Irma Denk with her 7tm initiative.
Mrs Menkes explicitly mentioned Lena Hoschek's work
While Vienna's vibrant fashion hot-spot that the 7th district may well be is absolutely worth being noted (and it has already been, in another piece published by the New York Times, whose "international edition" the International Herald Tribune is - see the "Shop Around" passage of this article) and while the efforts of all the designers that set up shop there can only be admired, I do find it remarkable, and even a little shocking, that Mrs Menkes wasn't introduced to one single designer whose work is aimed at the international market and who does not run a shop or showroom in town.
That leaves me with one or two questions, mainly: who, and why, decided on the people that Mrs Menkes was introduced to, and why did this or these person/s decide to ignore rather acknowledged talents such as Petar Petrov, Ute Ploier, Hartmann Nordenholz, Wendy & Jim or such newcomers as Bradaric Ohmae and Meshit, who can show off recent features in international editions of Vogue etc.?
fashion by meshit, and many other Viennese labels,
was not on Mrs Menkes' wish-list
While it is perfectly possible and even excusable that Mrs Menkes does not find the time to thoroughly prepare for a trip to a more "seductive" than actually fashion-forward Vienna, it would have been all the more important (and advisable) for whoever was in charge of showing her around to familiarise her with all facets of Vienna's fashion life.
For after all, the impact of an article drafted by Mrs Menkes is considerable and it might have been of greater help to all the designers that try so hard to maintain themselves on the international fashion circuit than to those who focus on the local market. Mrs Menkes' words could thus have gone beyond the sphere of what tourists can expect to find upon visiting Vienna and have supported the efforts that have been made in the past decade or so. But sadly, a chance has been missed here, and a remarkable one, too ...