Sunday, May 4, 2008

The labels of Pia Fischer

Pia Fischer’s charming boutique in the Schöneberg district of Berlin is full of enticing accessories and garments. Her signature pieces are all made with waste from the fashion industry, mostly pre-consumer notions, trims, and labels, but also some post-consumer clothing that is restructured in whimsical and innovative ways.

Originally from Switzerland, Fischer studied painting and fashion design in Basel. She initially designed baby clothes for her own shop in Lucerne. After a series of life events that included a move to Berlin and a ten year break from fashion, in the late 1990s she realized that she missed designing and decided to “go crazy” with clothing as a vehicle for personal expression. In 1999 she started working with labels, first using the discards from all her friends and then hooking up with the German division of Paxar who supply labels to business around the world—they were happy to sell her their discards and misprints. Most of her extravagant creations fall in the “wearable art” category but some present as elegant couture gowns. Fischer acknowledges that her creations are for a very confident woman who wants to be noticed and enjoys attention.

In 2005 she opened her current shop, located at at Eisenacherstrasse 69. Upstairs almost every surface is covered in a colorful array of bags, belts, pouches, umbrellas, and other assorted knick knacks. By special request she’ll give you a tour of the good stuff in the basement. An amazing collection of gowns created almost entirely of labels hang on racks around the room. Most are developed in series such as her artist inspired group including Matisse, Klee, and Picasso, but she also covers the seasons, nature, and other popular motifs; even the iconic Berlin traffic symbols are realized in labels and zippers on a wearable garment! She doesn’t sell many of the extravagant creations but instead rents them out for elaborate fashion shows. The work is handcrafted in a small workroom adjacent to the shop; she does most of the sewing herself with help from a few interns. The store has a magical fantasy aura and once inside it is almost impossible to resist purchasing some type of unique fashion article.

No comments: