Saturday, 15 August 2009

In the Mountains

Ice cream at 6,500 feet above sea level:
The scenery where we are staying in Austria is stunning, it's all very fresh and healthy, the people are friendly, the food is much better than you might expect, everything is very clean and quaint (again, almost to a toy town degree), it's a great getaway from the madness of London, but... the fashion! Oh, the fashion! In a sense, it's silly to pass comment, since we didn't go expecting it to be 'fashion,' and nowhere in the world would you expect to find a fashion scene in a fairly rural mountainous area (unless you include shiny designer ski gear, but that hardly counts), and there are moments in our lives when we switch off the fashion thing.

But all that said, we've been finding the fashion here so funny (and surreal) we had to post something. Almost everyone is decked out in either hardcore outdoor sports gear (think unholy amounts of Lycra, hiking boots and sandals with thick socks, backpacks, crinkly waterproof jackets...), even if they're just going for a gentle stroll around the lake, or in variations of traditional Austrian dress with lederhosen for the men and dirndl dresses for the women, seemingly worn non-ironically and, for the most part, not just for the benefit of tourists. We've noticed quite a few men with shaved legs, perhaps because guys here don't shy away from the dreaded micro shorts (typically worn with a t-shirt tucked in, along with the ubiquitous hiking boots with pulled-up socks, backpack and big belt with a camera bag attached). At times, it's not difficult to see where the inspiration for some of Brüno's more stereotypical kitschy-camp looks came from. All this is excluding the wealthy Arab tourists (who also seem keen on the place, along with Munich) who add another style dimension. The women work a look which will be familiar to anyone who has frequented Harrods on a weekday afternoon, which consists of full, black religious covering, accessorised with huge designer sunglasses, the latest logo-ed Fendi, Gucci or Louis Vuitton bag, and sparkly shoes peeping out at the bottom.

Think of these as the Jak & Jil shots of the great outdoors...

Adding to this bizarre fashion mix, and making it even weirder, is the fact that the clothes shops which don't sell outdoors or traditonal clothes seem to favour a sort of 90s Moschino / Absolutely Fabulous meets Euro tacky look:

Kitsch wellies:
We keep thinking of Raf Simons' amazing spring/summer 2008 collection, with its wonderful references to the European outdoors-y hiker-tourist look (a look which we're sure is strong in Mr Simons' native Belgium too), but done in a youth way which fitted perfectly with the whole feeling and mood at the time (something Raf Simons particularly excels at). The techno fabrics, the toggles, the waterproofs and big knits, the reworked hiking boots and sandals, the micro shorts, the giant backpacks... it was all beautifully tailored, and was possibly a metaphor for a young man's 'journey' in life with its connotations of travel, but also it was really quite humourous, something we've only come to appreciate now having seen the 'real' look so much in the Austrian Alps.

Images from - click to see entire collection.

If only we'd brought these with us..!

We do realise that the fashion we've observed in the mountains is not representitive of Austrian style as a whole.. we've heard that Vienna is quite a 'fashion' place now, and we'd love to check it out some other time.


  1. did you buy these snow boots? because I really want to get them, if so, where did you buy that? I love them really much...

  2. I did buy them, but they're from 3 seasons ago (SS08) so I'm not sure if anywhere still sells them now..

  3. o... thats a pity then.... but these boots are really good.... how much are they when you bought? is it around US$1000?? I heard they are really expensive... I saw your you got the blue version as well? wow.... but i think they are worth to buy, cos they really looks good on you...