ALBERT KRIEMLER OF AKRIS: INTERACTIONS WITH FINE ARTISTS
Akris, the iconic fashion house founded by Alice Kriemler-Schoch in 1922, is celebrating its centennial with a remarkable exhibition in Zurich titled ‘Akris. Fashion. selbstverständlich’. The exhibition highlights Albert Kriemler’s skillful collaborations with architects, photographers, sculptors, and art movements throughout his career. These partnerships have led to inventive fabric creations that perfectly express his ideas.
GUARANTEEING A PROMINENT PLACE AMONG GREAT DESIGNERS
Albert Kriemler’s unique path in fashion design can be attributed to St. Gallen, the city where Akris is based. St. Gallen is known for its guipure lace, a raw material that has been a key source for fashion. Kriemler’s collaborations with fine artists in various disciplines have established him as one of the great designers of the past half century. The exhibition captures the highlights of his collaborations and showcases the new fabrics he has developed.
AN ODE TO ST GALLEN: FALL-WINTER 2021 COLLECTION
The exhibition pays homage to the family’s hometown of St. Gallen. The fall-winter 2021 collection features prints inspired by the city’s street-grid and 19th-century map prints. These prints are used in various garments, such as hooded neoprene hoodies, gathered silk shirts dresses, and collectible leather totes. The collection also includes a bag with a small stud marking the building where Albert Kriemler works. The inspiration for this collection came from a quote by Robert Walser, Switzerland’s greatest writer, about the freedom of going for a walk during the lockdown.
INTENSE CREATIVITY DURING COVID: COLLABORATION WITH IMI KNOEBEL
Covid became a moment of intense creativity for Albert Kriemler, leading to a brilliant collaboration with German artist Imi Knoebel. Knoebel’s streaky phosphorescent canvases with plywood strips inspired Kriemler to create silk tops, sheathes, leather trenches, and grain leather bags. The video campaign for this collection was shot by Anton Corbijn in a Düsseldorf art gallery.
ARTISTIC ENCOUNTERS: FRIENDSHIPS AND INSPIRATION
Unlike typical fashion collaborations, Albert Kriemler’s partnerships are formed with artists he has followed and admired for years. These friendships and appreciation for their art inspire his collections. The exhibition features collaborations with artists such as Ian Hamilton Finlay, Sou Fujimoto, and Thomas Ruff. Each collaboration has resulted in unique and technically advanced fashion ideas.
ARCHITECTURAL INFLUENCES: SOU FUJIMOTO PARTNERSHIP
Albert Kriemler’s love for modern architecture is evident in his collaboration with Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Inspired by Fujimoto’s skeletal frame structure, Kriemler incorporated the form into white grained leather bags and 3D printed rings. The collection also includes a white mesh biker jacket referencing Fujimoto’s Naoshima Pavilion. The Budapest Music Hall design by Sou Fujimoto served as inspiration for a perforated white cotton shirt.
THE ARCHITECTURAL FEEL OF ALBERT KRIEMLER’S DESIGNS
Albert Kriemler’s designs are often praised for their architectural feel and perfect tailoring. In the exhibition, visitors have the opportunity to try on a selection of cashmere coats, highlighting their special fit. Viennese Modernism and the women who championed Austrian artists like Gustav Klimt influenced Kriemler’s Winter 2018 collection. The collection features refreshing color palettes, malachite green, and blue-marble prints. Michelle Obama wore a violet blue pantsuit with white saddle stitching from this collection.
ARTISTIC INSPIRATION: ALEXANDER GIRARD COLLABORATION
Albert Kriemler’s collaboration with textile designer Alexander Girard resulted in luminous doll print tunics and dresses. These looks were later worn by Kendall Jenner, introducing Akris to a new generation of fashion enthusiasts.
HONORING FAMILY TRADITION: ALICE KRIEMLER-SCHOCH’S APRON
The exhibition pays tribute to Alice Kriemler-Schoch, Albert’s grandmother and the founder of Akris. A special place is given to an original apron, a key item for Alice, who initially started sewing them. Albert used this apron as the foundation for the Spring-Summer 2022 collection, creating A-line slip dresses, sheathes, and modern suits.
A LEGACY OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AND IMAGINATION
Akris is a fashion house with a century-old family tradition and a star event in Paris Fashion Week for two decades. Albert Kriemler’s impeccable craftsmanship, first-rate materials, and rich imagination have contributed to the brand’s success and importance. His ability to bring out the essence of each artist he collaborates with without overpowering their work is a testament to his skill as a designer.
A BRILLIANT ART DISPLAY: THOMAS RUFF COLLABORATION
Albert Kriemler’s collaboration with master photographer Thomas Ruff resulted in stunning fashion pieces featuring Ruff’s prints. Chromogenic prints of the surface of Mars and night-vision images of houses transformed into digitally printed poplin raincoats and double face cashmere coats, respectively.
AN EPIC JOURNEY OF DESIGN: QUIET TRIUMPH
Albert Kriemler’s two-decade long journey in the fashion industry can be compared to an odyssey. He encountered some of the gods of modern art and design along the way, returning home in quiet triumph. The exhibition is a testament to his epic journey and his well-deserved recognition as a visionary designer.