ARTHUR ARBESSER AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR MILAN FASHION WEEK
Antique chairs shipped in from Austria, a family friend at the grand piano playing Schubert, contemporary art on the walls—Arthur Arbesser’s salon-style presentation was quite a production. “My ideal is to tell a bit more of a story,” he said. “All of this is dear to me; I just hope someone else is interested in it.” As a matter of fact, Arbesser’s unique presentation format (last season he was in an old warehouse used by Milan’s ’70s feminists) and his uncomplicated but clever clothes have caught the attention of some key industry players. He got the call saying he’d made the semifinalist round of the second annual LVMH Prize not too long ago.
This season, like last, what made Arbesser’s straightforward pieces interesting were the materials. The designer reported that he’d reached out to an Austrian textile company by mail to make the loden fabric he wanted because they don’t have an e-mail address. A jacket in the stuff was as sturdy as a wool and chenille blend sweater, and the matching skirt was very soft. Arbesser’s vegan suede, while noble, wasn’t quite as compelling as a leather-like coat in rubberized cotton that he affectionately referred to as “nasty.” Elsewhere, a preoccupation with uniforms materialized in both dirndl-shaped skirts and sailor-collar stripes. The most vivid pieces were the ones in a graphic, multicolor print inspired by Vienna’s Wiener Werkstätte; but if that proved too lively for the LVMH jurors, there was also a smart metallic pinstripe.