Paris Fashion Week provided the backdrop for the 100 th anniversary catwalk show of Swiss fashion house Akris, held on the forecourt of the Palais de Tokyo. The 74 looks presented from the Spring/Summer 2023 collection were punctuated by pieces from the archives, chosen by the brand’s artistic director, Albert Kriemler : garments such as a floral lace blouse from 1989 worn with leather trousers from 1983, a gabardine jacket with shoulder pads and sand coloured trousers from 1991. The vintage pieces blended harmoniously with the new ones, underscoring their timeless quality. Albert Kriemler’s selection of nine gems from the archives included the first double-faced cashmere coat created by his father in 1978. The designs illustrated the fashion house’s know-how – and its joie de vivre, as proved by the heart motifs, which reference the label’s first print, unveiled for the Autumn/Winter 1989 – 90 collection. The nude palette gradually gave way to superb flashy monochromes. “I like fashion to surprise. It’s progress, it’s energy, it’s strength, states the designer in the introduction to this collection, which celebrates a century of fashion, style and inspiration. Albert Kriemler drew inspiration from multiple sources, including the lyrics of Bob Dylan’s song Behind the Horizon, released in 2006, and Ugo Rondinone’s rainbow-coloured text ssculpture We Are Poems of 2011 ; because he believes that “Fashion is never a solo love affair.”
A MELTING POT OF ARTISTIC INFLUENCES
All of Akris’s signature elements are here : cashmere and silk, double-faced garments, horsehair and embroidery from St. Gallen, the fashion house’s birthplace. It was in this Swiss village that Alice Kriemler-Schoch opened her first atelier in 1922. She was soon dressing the region’s most stylish women. In 1944 Alice’s son Max joined the family business, which was renamed Akris. The second generation helped grow the label, collaborating with Parisian couturiers. Albert Kriemler now represents the third generation, having taken up the torch following an apprenticeship with Hubert de Givenchy. His goal is to create a luxury wardrobe featuring pared-down, structured silhouettes that are perfectly suited to the busy lives of contemporary women. As an art lover, Albert Kriemler enjoys collaborating with talented painters, sculptors, photographers and architects, who have influenced numerous collections with their visions. It’s no wonder that the fashion house has attracted celebrity fans over the years, such as Grace Kelly and now Charlene of Monaco, wife of Prince Albert of Monaco, who could be seen smiling enthusiastically in the front row as she watched the anniversary show.
By Julie de los Rios