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Archive for December, 2014

Coats for a shipowner

In 1980, I happened to get a job in Greece. I was hired to develop an entire collection for a local leather manufacturer. So I went with my little son to Thessaloniki. We were warmly welcomed by the locals and my new work inspired me: In collaboration with a chemist I could develop leather surfaces with total freedom and use the new material in the collection.

In Paris at the Prêt-à-Porter and at the Frankfurt fashion fair the result made a lot of waves. People curiously groped the leather surfaces and asked each other in whispers how that shiny metallic surfaces might have been realized.

Shortly before the end of the fair a couple of coats disappeared – a clear case of industrial espionage, and my company had failed to patent my new method.

Anyway it rained orders and back in Greece I started to plan the production. Among the clients there was the company Hettlage from Munich, which desperately needed some exemplars of their ordered models for their advertising campaign.

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The unforgettable 1987

The “Münchner Förderpreis” is an award of the City of Munich given every two years to six persons for special achievements in the broad field of arts, design, architecture, jewelry and photography.

Scene München

In 1987, organized in cooperation with the Fashion Week Munich and the Italian knitting yarn manufacturer Linea Piu, there was a competition for knitwear design. The theme was earth, water and air.

I applied with a collection which I had carefully given a special flair: A scene from worked silver paper, earth and genuine stones unfolded like the stage set of a surreal landscape when one opened the application folder. It contained drawn and cut out models wearing my shoulder-accentuating designs with warm earth and beige tones.

I could not believe my luck when among 3.000 applications my designs came into the final round of the competition. This round consisted of a fashion show, which was presented to a critical jury. Diligently I did the finishing touches to my collection.

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My first trip to Paris

At that time, young women were supposed to learn a solid, decent job as a bank clerk or office worker. But in 1969/70, after hard confrontations with my parents, I finally was allowed to go to the Alf fashion school at the Moselle.

Under the great teacher Margarethe Groß I learned to transmit the form of the body to a patter as if it was a second skin and to determine mathematically the many intricacies of the transition from the body shape to a movement pattern.

In 1970, the school made a trip to Paris. We were incredibly excited, we were going to spend some days in the fashion capital of the world!

As we arrived in Paris we headed out immediately. With four of my classmates I first went to the studio of the famous fashion designer Christian Dior in the fashionable Avenue Montaigne.

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The Dior parent house

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Years ahead

1964: With enthusiasm I absorbed mom’s explanations on sewing techniques and boosted my development of new models. I already managed to create a frizzy skirt with black piping stripe.

 

Barbara with Soldier2

With my mom, years ahead of the Sergeant Pepper boom!

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