“Let’s Build Bridges With Fashion” was the opening line of last week’s ‘Fashion for Europe’ event at the gorgeous Vienna State Opera.
For one day, on the 14th of July, the Vienna State Opera turned into a runway filled with cool pop-up boutiques and exciting fashion shows, competing for the European Fashion Award – the prize for outstanding and remarkable contribution in „Building Bridges with Fashion“.
The Fashion for Europe event was born in 2015 as part of the EUROVISION Song contest which took place in Vienna. At the event’s core is a vision to bring cultures and people closer together – with fashion.
This year the event changed it’s location, to nothing more than the beautiful Vienna State Opera, but the vision stayed the same – because what can work better than getting people who share the same passion together and giving them the platform to meet each other and share ideas.
Each brand represented a nation; for instance Austria was represented by C&A and comma, Denmark was represented by PREMIUM by Jack&Jones and Vero Moda, whereas Fakhriya Khalafova (also this year´s Winner of the European Fashion Award prize) represented Azerbaijan.
Even though fashion as an industry in general is being perceived as highly globalized, having the opportunity to see how different nations have different trends and ideas certainly served as an inspiration and a connection point for the people. And who knows, maybe the shows inspired some individuals to join the exciting fashion race and become designers themselves!
But the fashion shows by each of the brands were just one part of the experience for the visitors. Following the fashion shows, the visitors and the organizers could interact and network with each other over a glass of champagne at the pop-up boutiques or try out the collection themselves at the beauty corners.
It was a great day, but also more than that.
There are some key takeaways which I will remember even when the hangover passes 🙂
- In times like these, of strong economic and political uncertainty and little tolerance, we need more events like this. It was a good networking event which brought other countries to Vienna; provided an opportunity for brands to establish themselves further as well as allowed the *rising stars of fashion* to present themselves to a broader public.
- It was great to see that fashion, as an extremely competitive industry, can be also presented with humanity, understanding and curiosity for differences. Different Show-Acts (ballerina and the band) added a special touch to the whole event and further promoted the idea of connecting people and cultures through fashion, music and dance.
- Fashion is often seen as very superficial and only as an “outside” of a person – therefore “bridging” anything with fashion might sound like a paradox. But understanding fashion a a self-expression tool, and seeing the event participants connecting with each other at the event proves that there is certainly “more than what meets the eye”.
- The Fashion Ecosystem in Vienna is still developing slowly: having more happenings like this could be a great step towards establishing Vienna as a next Fashion-Capital. 🙂
All in all, I am thankful for the opportunity of being a part of it and even though the event might have not reached its full potential in terms of participating brands/countries, it is a great step forward – and I am looking forward to the next big fashion thing coming up soon!
Below are some impressions from the event…
Foto credit: Andreas Tischler