Wiener Werkstätte artists such as Gustav Klimt were among the first to liberate women from corsets—the ladies in Klimt’s famous paintings wear long, loose gowns in ornamented fabrics (see his 1902 portrait of couturiere Emilie Flöge, above, center) that give them freedom to move. At first, the opulence of the workshop seemed anti-Akris—but I liked the idea of experimenting with decoration in a discrete way, and the lush nature of Klimt’s fashions helped me create clothes that play on the tension between refinement and simplicity. I was also moved by the metalwork and Japanese-inspired wallpaper of Dagobert Peche, which I translated into a gown with lingerie details worn with an embroidered cardigan. And the duck blue sweater in Egon Schiele’s Seated Woman With Bent Knee, 1917 (above, right) inspired a striped turtleneck and a skirt with stitched-down pleats. My Wiener Werkstätte collection was about richness of materials and colors.
Styled by Edward Enninful