Vienna Design Week 2016

Swarovski shows Fredrikson Stallard´s "Prologue" and "Hurricane" pieces at Schloss Belvedere

Schloss Belvedere is the Austrian version of Versailles and just like the famous chateau in France, this iconic tourist attraction has entered an interesting dialogue with contemporary art and design to stay relevant. Hence, Nadja Swarovski interrupted her busy fashion week schedule and jetted to Vienna to open the exhibition and honor her longtime collaborators Ian Stallard and Patrick Fredrikson. Swarovski and the duo have been working together for a decade so bringing along their giant sun sculpture entitled Prologue and made out of more than 8000 crystals which premiered to great fanfare at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2014 was a nod to the importance of the home country for the brand and the cultural institutions in Austria. The piece is nearly 10 meters high so just transporting and installing it is a very costly undertaking.

Close-up of Prologue

Highlight of the evening was a delicious three-course dinner in a beautiful hall overlooking Vienna for which Fredrikson Stallard created magnificent golden mirrors hanging high above the fireplaces while the original paintings by Ignaz Heinitz von Heinzenthal are being restored with funds by Swarovski. The mirrors were basically handmade by Fredrikson Stallard and will be staying at Schloss Belvedere until June 2017.

The impressive height of the ceiling

Two handsome and confident designers, Fredrikson Stallard are also a couple in life for 21 years so we caught up with Patrick, that is the Swede, and Ian, the Londoner, to hear where they see design and fashion headed. Naturally, the interview took place at the Sacher Hotel, Vienna´s finest.

Hurricane at Belvedere

Achtung Digital: So do you like fashion?

Fredrikson Stallard: Yes, we do, in fact our last show was the Burberry show in London last week.

AD: Any fashion-related projects lately?

FS: Yes, we actually worked with Brendan Mullane at Brioni for the 70th anniversary of the house and we created what is generally considered the most expensive cufflinks in the worlds. Each one had 140 diamonds on it.

AD: Your uniform?

FS: Without a doubt Hedi Slimane and his work at Saint Laurent even before at Dior Homme. We wear that head to toe.

Men’s fashion by Egon Schiele at Belvedere

AD: In one sentence, how would you describe your work?

FS: We like to take risks, like literally jumping off the cliff with each project.

AD: How did you meet Nadja Swarovski?

FS: She approached us 2006 to work with her on reinterpreting a classic crystal chandelier. It was a great project, she is a great patron. So this is ten years together now.

AD: Have you ever been to Vienna before?

FS: No and we have to say we find it amazing! To have been invited to do pieces for Schloss Belvedere´s main room while the paintings that hung there were restored was an incredible honor. We did two amazing mirrors to stay with the color scheme and bring some reflection into the room.

Vienna Design Week 2016 Swarovski Fredrikson Stallard
Patrick Fredrikson and Ian Stallard before their piece. Not a good photo, our apologies.