MQ Vienna Fashion Week 2011. Text & most photos by Glenn Belverio

Above: A look from Austrian label Bipone

Dear Shaded Viewers,

I recently attended the 3rd edition of the yearly MQ Vienna Fashion Week–my second time covering it for A Shaded View–which is held in the famed Museum Quartier (staged, extremely efficiently, in just one runway tent). This year’s event had a more far-flung feel to it, with designers from Brazil, Thailand, Georgia, Romania, Poland and Spain invited to show–not to mention a more diverse audience. While it was an excellent opportunity to see the work of many local Austrian designers, this is definitely not a provincial fashion week.


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The Tiberius runway show at MQVFW is always a must-not-miss event, and this year the brand turned up the sizzle on its sex-tastic fetish-wear meets ready-to-wear sensibility. Lots of black leather and bared skin–what’s not to lust? (As most of our readers have probably gathered, my favorite type of fashion show is one with less fashion, more flesh. My friend Carole Pope recently quipped, “That was a fashion show you covered? All I saw were pictures of naked people!”)







Me in the front row with my new Austrian friends who told me they love the energy of the young Austrian designers….but they only wear Armani! The woman sitting next to me told me about how, because of her husband’s ambassadorial work, she lived in Beijing starting in 1980 in the Sanlitun neighborhood. Her description of her three years there was rather grim (no toilet paper, spending the entire day shopping for food at different intervals because of scarcity).

When I told her that Sanlitun was quite chic now (I’ll be there next week for some events during Beijing Design Week near the ultra-designy Opposite House hotel) she was horrified. “I don’t want to hear that!” she protested. I think she didn’t want to give up her nostalgic, bittersweet attachment to barely-post-Mao China…


My fellow blogger at MQVFW, Maria of the Vienna fashion blog Style Kingdom. She’s a really great photographer!


I’m getting one of these hats from Ep_Anoui so I can use it to smuggle in one of my friends to the next fashion junket I’m invited to….




This “Greenwear” brand is on trend with its use of organic materials and sustainable production.


The fabulous Zigi Mueller of Creative Headz, the production group for MQVFW, in the yard of the VIP Tent.


I was mad for the excessively over-the-top fur trim on the menswear at Etxeberria, a brand from Barcelona. I wasn’t the only fan–most of the fur ensembles drew wild applause from the audience.


Barcelona brand Krizia Robustella paid homage to ice cream trucks, with sundae and sherbert tones. We loved the touch of the cold, blue lips but how could this show’s soundtrack not include Cazwell’s “Ice Cream Truck”??




Vienna-based Edith A’gay graduated from the Academy of Applied Arts and has been presenting her collections in Paris, Tokyo and New York since 2003. The masks are designed by AND_i, the Austrian brand whose claim to fame is providing the metal eye patch for Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” video. (I actually really liked that video–it’s one of the few sterling moments in Gaga’s ridiculously derivative career.)


MQVFW founder, Maria Pitour, in the middle of the Museum Quartier. Maria’s vision for next year is to merge fashion with contemporary art, film and performance for a “Fashion Summer” starting in June in Vienna.


I loved this show attendee’s Eiffel Tower bag.


A showcase of four designers from Thailand was held on Saturday night. My favorite collection was by Wonder Anatomie which employed neon-color cutaways in fabric and plastic that imaginatively traced anatomical details.


I really liked the hats on the catwalk of Thai designer Dusk Till Dawn


After the show, a Thai feast was served up in the VIP Tent. The food paired well with the free-flowing Schlumberger (Austrian prosecco), and there was also a spicy, alcoholic Thai punch. Vienna Fashion Week really knows how to spoil their VIPs!



Lena Hoschek is probably Austria’s most famous fashion designer. It’s true that she sometimes designs for singer Katy Perry, but she’s so much more than that. For starters, Hoschek’s musical tastes are far beyond the pedestrian pop pablum of Perry, with garage-punk music from bands like The Sonics blaring loudly at this recent runway show. The collections’ 1940s and ’50s silhouettes simmered with the sort of sexuality that lurked beneath wool secretary suits and housewife dresses with somber prints, post-war. Yes, this collection was a bit reminiscent of the retro ugly chic that Prada has been doing for years, but Hoschek’s commitment to that sensibility is clearly more genuine and less calculatingly ironic.






Hoschek (right) and model backstage after the show


Elvyra Geyer & Zigi Mueller of Creative Headz backstage at Lena Hoschek


I had a fabulous room with a large terrace at Le Meridien (which I’ll always think of as the “Life Ball hotel”). So nice to come home to this illuminated headboard. Yes, this is the now-legendary room that Katy Perry lives in while in Vienna. What makes it legendary is how many times I repeated this quasi-factoid during the week.


After a long afternoon of flaneur-ing around the gardens of the Belvedere Palace, I stopped in my favorite 19th-century cafe behind the opera house. The apple strudel was divoon but of course I only eat desserts when I’m in Europe.

Belvedere Palace….a bit like a thrify, tasteful version of Versailles. Apparently Marie Antoinette left any remnant of frugality behind before she was shipped off to France.

Further reading: Brazilian designers at MQ Vienna Fashion Week


Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio is a writer and New Yorker. He has been reporting for ASVOF since 2005 and currently works at The Museum of Modern Art as the Content Manager for MoMA Design Store.