19/11/2009

The Post-Punks, The New Lords and The Unexpected - Wendy & Jim

Wendy & Jim




Vienna based label Wendy & Jim is composed of Hermann Fankhauser and Helga Schania, and with nearly a decade of existence the label has evolved from womenswear to menswear, from ready to wear to denim, and is now exploring underwear with a collection in collaboration with Dj Hell, a long time friend and music inspiration of the Austrian designing duo.
Fankhauser and Schania met at the School of Applied Arts of Vienna and graduated under the mentoring of Austrian fashion legend Helmut Lang and the very influential Vivienne Westwood. Every single collection of Wendy & Jim was thought, designed and showed around a single idea, strong and graphic most the times, often music related, fashion pioneers always

"Wiener Freiheit"
Summer 2004

The Wendy & Jim adventure started with womenswear collections and couples of menswear pieces, exploring the tradition of Austrian tailoring transposed into unusual, almost punk, fabrics such as transparent PVC, and more still unidentified materials. The label takes a first turn towards menswear with the "Reflex"Summer 2003 collection. The primordial elements of a soon to be menswear only label are rooted in "Reflex", the challenged Austrian tailoring, the volume and proportion games on classical garments, the strong graphic touch with print of patch, color matching that we can easily relate to the Jungendstyl, and the post-punk-goth underground music tribes tribute outfits.
The transition of the label into a menswear label is effective and official with the Winter 05 collection "Personal Jesus".




"Personal Jesus"
Winter 2005

Season after season, the Austrian duo get deeper into their menswear "fantasy", the collections gets sharper, the Wendy & Jim touch more and more clear. They design uniforms for a new generation of men and are part of the re-generation of the menswear fashion. Some core looks are now a signature of the Wendy & Jim style, and international fashion insiders now know what look the name stands for.
There's a few core looks that you can find in almost every show the label did, first is what I see as the post-tailored : traditional Austrian tailor suits or coats remixed ( like a sound ) with a more contemporary underground style. That results into orange PVC suits, really over sized layers of coats, light silk suit with painted geometric color patterns, bright green traditional Austrian loden jacket with silver piping and so on...
Then there is the underground tribute, the punk, the post-punk, the new wave, the skin head, the goth, all looks from underground socio-music tribes transposed into refined shapes and fabrics, layering, the wrap around silk or knit cardigan sometimes printed or in shock colors, printed denim or painted denim, geometrical knits in primary colors, cut out almost medical t-shirt and oversize transparent trenches or shirts.
And to finish there is the challenging look, the ones that mixes both previous and creates different stages between the two ends of what constitutes the identity of Wendy & Jim.




"Used Future"
Winter 2006




"These Beautiful People"
Winter 2007

"New Shit"
Summer 07

The adventure into ready-to-wear unfortunately had to stop for the Wiener label, as keeping quality of production with competitive prices starts to be impossible to conciliate, and so Wendy & Jim Homme stops after it's Winter 08 collection. Of course, Fankhauser and Schania can't just stop there and quickly launch a denim label titled "New H by Wendy & Jim" before going into underwear with a collaboration line with Dj Hell, the story goes on...

All pictures from Wendy&Jim and Catwalking.com

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