Steinwidder is an Austrian label founded in 2002 by Anita Steinwidder, and working with pre and post consumer waste to produce an authentic, unique and creative women’s wear collection. Approaching design through a combination of architectural and design sensibilities, Steinwidder cuts up existing clothing, and reconfigures the elements into entirely new compositions, placing them into a new conceptual context.
With a particular emphasis on shape, structure and surface, Steinwidder carries out the creative process of construction herself. Production is undertaken in their small ‘manufactory’ like, studio space in Vienna, Austria, where Steinwidder oversees and monitors every step of the process.
A great percentage of the collection is produced from a very unique source, that of damaged pre consumer, factory made, sock production. Working directly with a sock manufacturer, the damaged socks are reconfigured by Steinwidder into sloppy sweater dresses, leggings, pants and hooded tops, without the introduction of any other supporting materials, inserts or backing. The socks are interlocked together like an oversized jigsaw puzzle, to make a continuous piece of fabric, and styled into individual designs, with Steinwidder using her architectural background to transform them into stylish designs with dimension and shape.
The collection has a contemporary and edgy feel, that belays the base material, that of boring everyday, monochromatic ankle socks. Pieced and interlocked together, often with in tone on tone color combinations, and with contrasting overlocking stitching, the fabric has a dimension to it created from the heels of the socks, a discreet color diversity that give the designs an added depth, and a graphic component from the contrasting stitching, interlocking the many individual socks together, and snaking its way throughout the base material, by outlining each individual sock. Walking a fine line between phallic symbolic shaping, sloppy Joe boyfriend sweater and bad girl rock chic, the line manages to articulate all of the above and more from the most mundane of materials.