Akris: St.Gallen, selbstverständlich
06.10.2023 – 10.03.2024
If there is a fashion house rooted equally in textile and place, it is Akris in St.Gallen, the city of embroidery.
For 100 years, the only Swiss fashion house to be a member of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has cherished and cultivated its geographical origins. The exhibition “Akris: St.Gallen, selbstverständlich” reveals how intertwined the firm’s distinctive signature is with the city in which it is located; it gives an insight into the close relationship between fashion house and St.Gallen’s textile industry and presents those collections that embody the zeitgeist.
THE ST.GALLEN COLLECTIONS
When worldwide lockdowns put a halt to fashion shows in Paris and shifted the focus closer to home, designer Albert Kriemler translated St.Gallen’s cultural heritage to surprising effect in his Akris collections, for instance, when the roof of St.Laurenzen Church makes an appearance in St.Gallen embroidery or when modern patchwork dresses are made of reused embroidery from Akris’ archives. In particular, the exhibition highlights the collection “A woman on a walk” (fall/winter 2021), inspired by Robert Walser’s story “Der Spaziergang” (“The Walk”, 1917).
Walking combines moments of reflection and leisure, of freedom and flight from surfeit. Only in the course of walking do we think, write and create – a thought shared by the great Swiss writer. The scenography of the exhibition is based on the leitmotiv of taking a walk, of coming across the discoveries and stimuli that are a recurring source of inspiration for Albert Kriemler: nature, architecture and the exploration of art – they have all have become integral to his signature. In “Akris: St.Gallen, selbstverständlich”, these inspirations take shape in a diversity of embroidery looks, for example, designs that apply honeycomb structures to featherlight guipure parkas or embroidered amulets on light-colored tulle, echoing the delicate lighting in paintings by the Italian artist Giorgio Morandi.
THAT IS EMBROIDERY!
Exceptional craftsmanship and uncompromising avant-garde, clear lines and exquisite fabrics are seamlessly combined at Akris. This is epitomized especially in looks that testify to the close collaboration between the Swiss fashion house and the renowned St.Gallen textile cluster. How can LED embroidery generate the effect of star-studded skies? What processes are required to make embroidered fabric look like asphalt? Textile innovations and handcrafted know-how give an insight into these questions.
TEXTILE HERITAGE AS A PLAYGROUND OF INNOVATION
For the first time Akris: St.Gallen, selbstverständlich presents the embroidery archives of the firm founded by Alice Kriemler-Schoch; they date back to the 1940s. Surprising colors, fragile materials and an infinite variety of three-dimensional patterns: to this day, the archive is a point of departure for creation, for ever new techniques of processing and crafting; it is the fashion house’s collective fabric memory and testifies to the way in which St.Gallen embroidery has become an essential element in the refined minimalism of Akris.
Curator: Albert Kriemler, Creative Director Akris
Szenography: Atelier Oï, Patrick Reymond, La Neuveville
Graphics: TGG Visuelle Kommunikation
Exhibition coordination: Team Textile Museum St.Gallen