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The reigning principle of the Bauhaus, that form follows function, is not the only design principle at play in Viennese designer Susa Kreuzberger‘s latest collection. The slogan “take your pleasure seriously,” attributed to Ray and Charles Eames, is the cornerstone of Kreuzberger’s collection, drawing on Bauhaus ideas of design innovation and optimism sewn in (literally) to the clothes to underscore the craftsmanship involved.
Culture Trip’s Art & Design editor, Rachel Gould, writes that “at the core of Bauhaus theory was a utopian vision of fluid boundaries between artistic creativity and design utility, giving rise to a single, all-encompassing art form.” As the 20th century’s most influential school of art, architecture, and design, the Bauhaus confronted anxieties about the transition from the farm to the factory that marked the industrial age. After all, in the machine age, many artisans and crafts-people were left to ponder their place as industry overtook cities. Boiled down, Bauhaus principles united art and industry—a practice seen today in modern architecture, interior design, as well as graphic design.
In a world of fast fashion as well as haute couture houses, one might wonder how to enact the principles of the Bauhaus. The Bauhaus ideals might seem ironic because, according to Gould, “It was so minimal, but that minimalism was the ultimate pleasure.” For the design leaders of the Bauhaus, they saw this minimalism as liberating. So, is this what Kreuzberger is driving at with her new collection?
In a press release, Viennese designer Kreuzberger said of her designs, “The sculpture of the body in all its varieties and connotations is our source of inspiration and target at the same time (ultimate destination: desire).”
“My aim is keep on playing with options and possibilities, no matter what age and independent of any seasonal trends,” says the designer in the same press statement.
“The wellbeing of the woman wearing the clothes, and the underlying of her character, always played an important role during the development of the collection,” says Kreuzberger about her SS17 collection, where she instructs wearers to “take pleasure seriously.”
When it comes to the pleasure principle, it’s evident from this collection’s clean, crisp lines and monochromatic color palate of black and white, that Kreuzberger intends pleasure to be simple, functional, and essential. An idea that is underpinned by postwar feminist thought.
Indeed, says Kreuzberger, “The slogan ‘take your pleasure seriously’ served as an inspiration for the design of the individual garments and should be understood as a challenge to the wearer. The label wants to make aware that self-esteem also means to wear clothing that has experience high esteem. So, it comes full circle back to the Bauhaus, which is precisely due to the idea of the longevity of design and materials to create a timelessness within a collection.” And there you have it, it so seems the Bauhaus can inspire pleasure—to this Viennese designer, at least.