Austria's Anna Aichinger Gets Her Rocks Off. By Naomi Nevitt
"It's a sexy and strict attitude," explains Anna Aichinger, the 29-year-old designer behind her eponymous Austrian label. "I like women to feel feminine and strong."
While taking courses at Austria's University of Applied Arts, Aichinger studied with such avant-garde greats as Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Viktor & Rolf, and Raf Simons. But despite the lure of working as a designer apprentice post-graduation, the budding Vienna-born designer chose to go it alone. And since kicking the collection off four seasons ago, she hasn't looked back.
For her current spring/summer collection, Alpha Girls, Aichinger channels the raw edge of American rock 'n' roll, citing female groups with loud-and-proud front women such as Blondie, Patti Smith, and The Donnas as the inspiration. Continuing her interest in monotone palettes, Aichinger mixed black, white, and nude with dashes of what she calls "screaming red and cool bluegrass" to her draped jersey dresses, high-waisted skirts, and oversized T-shirts that are made for "all those ladies who really rock in contrast to all the back-up dancers."
Up next for fall, Aichinger continues to focus on strong woman, looking to Hollywood films like Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands, and Annie Hall as reference points for her "nostalgic yet very clean" '70s-influenced silhouettes comprised of maxi-dresses, fur-trimmed jackets, and bell skirts.
"Vienna is very much about the historical heritage," says Aichinger. "At the same time, there are all these influences from the neighboring countries, which really add a nice new spark to our design scene. Because of this, I like to start with classic pieces and try to put them in a new context." And, as we all know, images of Debbie Harry vamping in front of a band of Bowery boys to Diane Keaton locking arms with Woody Allen, context is everything.
Austria's Anna Aichinger Gets Her Rocks Off.