Doing Fashion: Institute of Fashion Design Basel Graduate Show 2015

Angela Thurnherr. Image courtesy of

“The Swiss audience needs to wake up,” reads Julian Zigerli‘s “call to action” from the Basel Institute of Fashion show catalogue. “We have so much Swiss design that is not appreciated yet.” The graduate show from the Institute of Fashion Design Basel aims to bring some of that as-yet-unknown design to the wider public. At the lavish presentation for 2015, the school’s dedication to its students was clear, complete with high-level audiovisuals, taking place on 28 March, in the city’s coolest warehouse, as reimagined by Herzog and de Meuron.

Men’s and women’s collections stomped out of the smoke-filled garage and around (and sometimes over) a faux-marbled pyramid where the audience were seated. The level of innovation was high, with BA graduate Noemi Weber proposing a new look on baggy and unattractive, all in a fetching fluffy lavender. 

The prize for the most attention-grabbing collection went to Ugo Pecoraio, whose models on segways were greeted equally with gasps and laughter. On closer inspection, it became clear that the models needed to be on board some kind of transport to get around – their salsa costume-inspired trousers were sewn together at the knees. Bizarre trompe l’oeuil furry hands holding clutch bags and blinky eyes as buttons featured in Isabelle Mayer’s collection, while Laura Margna’s group of camel-esque travellers in straw hats with leather rims and buckles headed, herd-like, around the stage. Julian Zigerli, that bright star of young Swiss fashion, not only contributed his words of wisdom to the catalogue of the show, but also played the role of guest lecturer to the students – and his influence was particularly clear in the case of Delia Mattäus, whose white aertex layers bloomed with bruise-like intensity.

Wackiness continued in the MA collection, with WuetrichFuerst showing hats with shiny cardboard slime running down the shoulders from hats, as if down a surface. Meanwhile, Lisa Rechsteiner put her hearts on her sleeve, and everywhere else in her collection. Schoolgirl pen “tattoos” flashed out from under heart-shaped cutouts, showing teen girl power reigns supreme still.

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