Institute of Fashion Design Basel, 2014


It’s been almost 3 years since I last posted about the Institute of Fashion Design Basel’s grad show, so thanks to NJAL linking to the video from this year’s show (which happened yesterday), the school-whose-name-knows-no-end is back on my map. This was probably the most interesting grad show I’ve ever seen, not necessarily because of the fashion, but because each student’s collection was choreographed, and choreographed differently. Unfortunately, the collective soundtrack is comprised of some of the worst songs I’ve ever heard, but for some of the collections, the lack in my aesthetic interest in either the staging or the clothing was made up for by the corresponding clothing or staging. For instance, Kathrin Grossenbacher‘s menswear collection didn’t interest me, but the very fast pace of her models to the soundtrack of a race-car track was rather amusing. Denja Kaufmann‘s collection wouldn’t have kept me in the room if it wasn’t for the very familiar sounding piece of music (Moby maybe?), and made me look at it again (…though it’s still not my thing). And not one piece of Janina Butz‘s collection stuck in my head, but her models dancing to (a cover of?) X-Ray Spex’s “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” was a fun way to end the show. In contrast, one of the more interesting collections as a whole was Rafael Kouto‘s androgynous collection inspired by the moon and modeled by men walking very very awkwardly in moon boots to the And I was intrigued by Jana Richter‘s mirrored pieces (seen above), but the strobe lighting was driving me berserk. Brilliant idea having mirror pasties though – that’ll teach men to stop talking at women’s chests (…or will it?).


The trick then seems to be to have a neutral song that I don’t love or hate, because those are the collections that stood out to me. Margot-Helena‘s collection (seen above) was probably the most beautiful. While M-H cites Artemis as the collection’s inspiration, I was strongly reminded of the future-timeline scenes in Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, as well as Neal Stephenson’s Anathem, bits of The Matrix and V for Vendetta, and that time when someone found my blog by Googling ‘asian boy with long hair headbanging.’ Unfortunately, after seeing the photos, I think the pieces are all made of leather. Makes sense with the Artemis inspiration and all, but that put a damper on it for me.


And so, my two favorite collections all around without any reservations about staging or the clothing are as follows. First, Laura Woodtli‘s menswear collection, featuring knitwear unexpectedly paired with pieces such as cropped suit jackets and puffy vests, was simply fantastic. The photos from the show (above) aren’t all that good, so I’ve included the ‘official’ photo from Laura’s page on Basel’s site (below; see bottom of post for photo credits), but I also highly recommend watching the video yourself from 37:34-39:36 to see the whole collection.


Second (and last), my favorite womenswear collection came from Elisa Kaufmann (below). Thankfully the photos for Elisa’s show allow you to get a better view of the looks than the video does, enabling us to see that it’s not just full of pieces that look like wood paneling, but that it is actually full of wood pieces and accessories. The photos also allowed me to hone in on just what the overall aesthetic reminded me of, being Emilia Tikka‘s work. I just wish for some reason that there was a closer photo of the twins. I really like the idea of twin looks going down a runway together. Just lovely.


(Official photo for Laura Woodtli – PHOTO: Yasmina Haddad CREATIVE DIRECTION: Priska Morger HAIR AND MAKE-UP: Eva Buehler MODEL: Tamy@Izaio; all photos taken from

Edit: Thanks to for linking to my review! And welcome, if you found your way here from there.