2009 Alexander Thieme

Alexander Thieme Embedded 2009


1966 Bruno Munari

In his book on art as a profession (Arte come mestiere, 1966) Bruno Munari makes us picture road signs in the refined color combinations of the Art Nouveau period. Colors as pink and yellow side by side, brown and blue, red and pale blue (instead of dark), or coffee and chocolate. As the designer puts the question, "Can we imagine a 'No Overtaking' sign with a coffee and chocolate car on a violet background?"¹ Or the triangular 'Dangerous Curve to Left' sign with a curved mint green arrow on an olive background and a rosy beige edge? Such signs could match anyones taste, they would probably look like art but they also would very likely blend into their surroundings. After all Munari believes, to except, to know, and to use the colors of our own time is to express oneself in the language of today.

¹ Bruno Munari, Design as Art, Pelikan Books, 1971 


Undoctored or Strictly Parted

Francis Upritchard wearing Bernhard Willhelm

Francis Upritchard

This artist is conformably posing amidst her work. Amongst highly simplified combinations, chosen in full awareness of casual details, brands are presented as if by chance. And the way of her undoctored hair takes a pleasing effect on her followers. She is kindly supported.

Frida Kahlo

That artist makes her persona subject to her paintings, anything attached gains matter. By choosing her clothes, parting her hair, arranging interiors she is modeling the pictured world. After all the wardrobe survives its chooser, it provides evidence of her taste, assembling its own distinctive brand.

Frida Kahlo wearing silk and linen Chinese pajama
Photograph by Antonio Kahlo, 1947

2004 Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo's wardrope was found in a trunk in an unused bathroom in 2004, with an exhibition following in 2006. The book (Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: The Fashion of Frida Kahlo: Frida's Wardrobe, Chronicle Books 2008) not only includes a discussion of the ethnic dress that inspired her choices but also provides details on the restoration process.


2010 Salvatore Ferragamo

Salvatore Ferragamo, an Italian shoemaker who went to California in the 1920s to make shoes for the movies, became known for inventions like his cork wedges, stiletto heels with metal reinforcement, or invisible sandals. The “Salvatore Brogue” is the only men’s shoe that he designed in his career; an elegant but comfortable style worn religiously by Andy Warhol. In 2010, the Italian label recreated a new model after a pair worn by Warhol, which the company won at auction. For that they decorated the shoe with seemingly ephemeral, white, turquoise and pink brushstrokes of synthetic polymer paint.
In The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again) the artist says, "There are three things that always look very beautiful to me: my same good pair of old shoes that don't hurt, my own bedroom, and U.S. Customs on the way back home."

Untitled (Painting Shoes), 2012
Acrylic paint on leather shoes, wood 
In: Talk to Me III, Ve.Sch, Vienna


2011 Robert Gassner

Tattooed house front recorded by Robert Gassner in Slavonice, Czech Republic, 2011


2011 Laura Ashley

In 2011 the shoe company Clarks revived the print Sweet Alyssum from the Laura Ashley archive and made it into a Desert Boot. Originally the British officer Nathan Clark discovered the Desert Boot during World War II in Cairo, Egypt, where soldiers of the Eighth Army used to wear a sort of prototype model out of suede which they had made at the local bazar. After his return home in 1949 Nathan Clark started to produce the first models through his family's orthopedic shoe manufactory and export them all over the world. The shoes got fashionable amongst American students and English mods in the 60s and 70s, what helped them to their rebellious charm. One advertising slogan called them "The offbeat casual for the upbeat intellectuals."