Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
Around the time of 23.00 hours yesterday night, Karlla Girotto, artist-in-residence form Sao Paulo to the quartier 21/MQ here in Vienna, closes this fashion week-day with a soft note of wisdom. More performance than show per se, her collection is suitably named after the moment of dusk, and carries its perennial mystery, infinite poetry, and the sense of remote suspense that for millennia on end the twilight has entailed. It begins with a screening: the it’s the videoclip of I’m Waiting Here, by David Lynch and Lykke Li, a lulling, endless drive on an empty desert road while night and day follow each other on loop. Similarly, when the models walk out they do so in circle rather than one by one, and keep on going like that, like a tranquil ring-a-ring-o’roses, its childlike joyfulness offset just a bit by the wistful soundscape. They wear patched-up silk dresses with stripes the colour of sunrays, a rich green tulle skirt or tablecloth coat in chequered pastels, lace trims and customized sneakers. Most notable though, are their masks: something Peter Pan’s Lost Boys would wear, they give the ensembles an untamed edge. DIY keepsakes, totems or talismans, they come as plumed headpieces, clusters of buttons like silver scales or wrapped around a twig. There are crowns and necklaces of what looks like big teeth, simple veils with pearly eyebrows, and the slightly unsettling smile on a grey cardboard face. An embroidered powder blue scarf becomes a mask when two holes are torn for the eyes, framed by four straws per side, arranged as spider legs. Karlla Girotto’s work is as fearless as it is sweet, a pause of extreme present.
Photos by Thomas Lerch.