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Frau Wagner


Frau Wagner processes vintage and unwanted clothing and turns them into one-of-a-kind, desirable items.  The worn garments are innovatively reconstructed into something completely new, using only the highest quality materials, such as silk, chiffon, organza, velvet and fur.  The collection has a contemporary feel with sporty overtones, totally reworked into sophisticated high fashion items, so that Nike stripes and ribbed active wear cuffs become the finishing details on floaty silk dresses or featured in sophisticated halter neck tops with crisp white collars and cuffs.  Old, discarded commodities become sought-after items; men’s ties are reborn as swishing skirts, an old police uniform is reinterpreted into a lascivious bustier dress.  A sense of humor and intellect permeates the collection with the juxtapositioning of old and new, sporty and dressy, Grace Kelly versus Amy Winehouse.


The spring summer 2009 collection focused on the reuse of sportswear items.  Frau Wagner was attracted to the democratic nature of active sportswear, worn by street kids and athletes alike, with each item charged with feelings of joy, excitement and sweat.  Making a couture evening dress from these items imbued with their past life of exercise and exertion, the social code understood around the world, forming opposition to the elitist and the egalitarian nature of high-end fashion, with each and every piece in the collection, thrilled Frau Wagner. “I process clothing with a distinctive social code, for example uniforms, sportswear or gentlemen’s shirts and look for an antithetic context.”

Upon completion, each item is named after its buyer, the concept being to individually and personally brand each redesigned piece with an individual signature, simultaneously making an antithetical statement about global branding, where the concept is to make available the exact same item in multiple locations, with the brand DNA intrinsically interwoven into every single design.  With names like Frau Braun, Frau Mösch and Mrs. Vita creating an anachronism through the labeling of a reworked item into something completely new, and the name of the new owner and wearer, not decided upon by the designer.


Documenting the entire process, the photo’s then form the basis for Frau Wagner’s artwork, digitized, solarized imagery utilizing photo’s of the buyer in their garment, overlaid with print, pattern and color to create one of a kind art around the one of a kind garments.  Making fantastical, fairy tale statements about the wearer and their new purchase through the lens, as well as through the reworking of the photo, much in the same deconstructive way the clothes themselves are deconstructed and then reconstructed.  Creating a platform for self-dramatization and delivering the portrait from reality. “I love to tailor a blouse for Madonna that is made of Helge Schneider’s underpants or vice versa!” Selling through her own atelier in Kreuzberg, near Berlin, Frau Wagner’s work has been featured on German television, as well as in print in Zitty, Tip and Vital magazines, as well as featured by the Goethe Institute online.


This is an except from my book Eco Fashion published by Laurence King Publishing at www.laurenceking.com/product/Eco+Fashion.htm and available directly from them, amazon.com or by order at your local bookstore.

Website: www.frauwagner.com

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