Today we begin our series of German highlights from Paris Fashion Week
Herzog de Meuron, Robert Burle Marx, Joseph Maria Olbrich, Louis Kahn and now Sou Fujimoto: Albert Kriemler knows his architecture, even better he translates this inspiration into beautiful clothes
A life with Architecture
The first time I met Albert Kriemler for an intimate dinner was in Vals in the Swiss Alps in Peter Zumthor’s famous spa. Then I was invited to his home near St.Gallen built by Munich architect Christoph Sattler overlooking the Appenzeller Land heavily inspired by Adolf Loos. It’s safe to say that architecture and art are his main inspirations for his work at Akris where he continues to add new momentum to his body of work taking on risks and not looking back.
This season Albert, who also loves to visit every art exhibition in the world, stuck with his architecture obsession and he revisited an idea from 2013 when he saw the pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery by Sou Fujimoto. Needless to say, Kriemler is a man who has the patience to wait for two years to turn an initial idea into a powerful collection shown at the Grand Palais in Paris. Perforated fabrics, asymmetric layering, 3D-printed accessories mixed with the best red nylon zipper jacket this season, Akris took a bold step forward as the German-speaking world’s most important fashion brand.
In his own words
Albert Kriemler : “I have been admiring Sou Fujimoto’s work and his unique approach to architecture for quite some time. We met through Iwan Baan, the photographer, earlier this year in Paris, where Sou Fujimoto is working on the new Paris Saclay University. In summer, we saw each other again in Tokyo after I spent time in Naoshima, where I discovered his delicate white pavilion in the harbor.
It is a place to relax and a new architectural experience speaking to all senses. It looks like a diamond, beautiful during the day and wonderful at night and it inspired my 3D-printed rings. There are architects whose vision is close to what fashion really is about – creating a relation between the body and the environment that helps human beings to live comfortably. Sou is an architect who understands that we have more senses than just the eye.
In Sou’s work, I recognize a desire to comprehend and create volume, space and room, to intertwine nature and construction, to work with transparency and opaqueness that rings familiar to me. He is a great integrator and he is able to express a complex virtuosity with utmost simplicity and ease.
I was most inspired by his sketching always in red ink, his personal way of dressing – relaxed – and his glasses, the inspiration for the sunglasses in the show.”
What you see is what you get
Maybe the biggest achievement in Kriemler’s tenure at Akris is that he has managed to raise the fashion factor for the label while maintaining the high quality. Akris clothing is generally produced in ateliers in St.Gallen, Zurich, and Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. Many garments are finished by hand, the zippers are made in Switzerland and Kriemler has really managed to create a harmony between fabric, color, cut and ease of wearabilty of a garment.
It’s not exaggeraetd to say that Akris is the Hermès of Switzerland. Pieces will last in a closet forever due to their extreme quality. Our favorite piece in the collection was a sleeveless, perforated white leather coat with double-zipper closure which played with Fujimoto’s ideas of transparency and at the same time reminded of the classic Akris shift dress which is somewhat used as emblem in every collection. The laser cutting on the leather, les petits mains on the details like the zippers, it was all visbile and oozed craftsmanship and fashion, a rare combination.