Life Ball 2015

Life Ball

The Life Ball 2015 is history already, but I still feel its impact – after working ca. 160 hours (next to school) in the last month, I’m still exhausted. But so happy! Going to the Life Ball one day was one of my big dreams. I never thought I could fulfil it as soon as this year, but I’m beyond happy I could. It really was an amazing experience. One could feel the joy, the happiness, there was so much creativity… truly a celebration of life!

In the last month, I worked in the costume departement – making, fitting, repairing and changing existing costumes for the opening ceremony of the ball. We made all the hats and painted all the dresses for the 100 (x2) debutants, the armour for the Sacrani (fitting the ballet dancers was… fun and unnerving), the wings for the angels (over 200 swarovski crystals on each wing), the costumes for the artists on the two carts, the Beethovenfries also needed some changes and tweaks… A lot of work – A lot of spray-painting (mostly gold), glueing (hot glue guns and textile glue forever), using shellac and wood glue to harden the hats…. It was exhausting, tiring, fun, rewarding… maybe even the best month of my life? At least since I came to Vienna… I met some fantastic people, got to know others better, shared many laughs and just knew – this is what I want to do, it’s were I belong – with the creatives, the people who have a vision, who work hard for this few moments that stay in your memories forever. I’m grateful I got this assurance that I’m on the right path with my education.

So, see you next year, Life Ball! I’m looking forward to the next theme… maybe something aztec inspired? That is my first guess, we’ll see what Gerry Keszler will come up with… It will be spectacular, that’s for sure!

Life Ball - make-up

life Ball - debutants

life ball - angels

Conchita's Adele dress

Life Ball - Athena

Life Ball - break

life ball - town hall

London Impressions

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I never really had a favourite city, but I think London takes this place now. I love the energy, the coolness, how relaxed everyone is, but you can still feel the pulse and the progress. And I love the architecture – so diverse! My favourites are the houses in Kensington, were we stayed, with their white entrances, oriels and balconies. Also, London is so green! Of course, there are the big parks, but there is also s much greenery in the front gardens and the private gardens in the open areas between the buildings.

I think instead of telling you what we did exactly, I’ll just show you the pictures – I took many, many and here are just some. Still, this is just part one of you London experience, part 2 will follow next week. Maybe I’ll choose a different format then, but I don’t really feel like writing a lot at the moment.

V&A

V&A

The Victoria & Albert museum – from the outside and from the inside.

natural history museum

The Natural History Museum – just next door. Looks like Hogwarts or something.

picadilly circus

Picadilly Circus – that’s were the party started (so many people)

covent garden

Covent Garden by night

london eye

London Eye and the Thames

big ben

Spooky Big Ben shortly after Midnight (and a sneaky underground sign)

Royal albert hall

Royal Albert Hall and red London bus

Kensington palace

Kensington Palace – very unspectacular, I expected something grander

Peter Pan

Peter Pan statue in Kensington gardens (too cute)

Kensington Gardens

‘Italian Garden’

Saatchi Gallery

Saatchi Gallery architecture

hungry?

food stall in front of the gallery (we had already eaten at a Libanese restaurant, delicious!)

topshop

flower crowns at Topshop in Oxford Street

harrods

Real flowers at Harrods

the wicked stepmother

The Wicked Stepmother at the Harrods’ window display.

Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Since I heard last October/November that the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York would be shown in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, I knew that this was a chance of a lifetime. London isn’t that far away, and if booked in advance, the flights aren’t too expensive either. So I dreamed about going until my mother told me to just do it: set a date, book the tickets and fulfil my dream. And that’s what I did last weekend.

Together with a friend, I went to London for three days and the highlight (and purpose) of the whole trip was definitely the exhibition. A-MA-ZING. Really. I was in awe the whole time. I thought I knew what to expect, as I own the catalogue of the Met exhibition and I knew that they would show basically the same items. But I was not prepared for how they were shown. Each room had a different theme, a different motto and was designed accordingly. There were beautiful gilded showcases with tarnished mirrors, one room covered with panelling, another one with bones. Clean white tiles stood in contrast to a curiosity cabinet in black, flowery wallpaper to mirrored niches.

And the clothes! Seeing them up close was an experience I’ll never forget. Those details, those textiles, those seamlines! All these iconic garments I only ever saw on images in books or on my computer screen where right in front of me, so close that I could have touched them. I tried to take it all in, to fill my brain with these images, to soak it all up. I could have spend a whole week there, looking at each garment form every possible angle, preferably having a look at the inside of the clothes as well, trying to understand a bit more of McQueen’s genius.

I was especially glad to be able to study some of the garments from my favourite collection ever, Widows of Culloden (Autumn 2006). Even the Kate Moss hologram from the show’s finale was featured – it was hauntingly beautiful, scary and strangely attractive at the same time.

Sadly, my pictures do not do the clothes much justice. Some rooms were very dark and actually, I wasn’t even allowed to take any pictures. But I had to ignore this and snap at least some… Additionally, I also got the catalogue of the exhibition, which is different form the one from the Met – It is filled with essays, pictures of the shows, McQueen’s sketches and behind-the-scenes photos. I highly recommend it!

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

More about London will follow soon!

Moments of Wonder

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - giant

That is the motto of the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens, Tyrol and I have to say, they were truly wonderful. At the entrance, one is greeted by the iconic giant and the rest is just as magical. There were walls filled with Swarovski Crystals, trees covered in them so it looked like ice, a huge dome filled with mirrors and changing lights, intricately embelllished dresses, models of different crystal shapes and more. It was all about these small stones and how they break the light just like real gems. It was a world filled with glistening and flashing light in all colours of the rainbow – truly enchanting.

Towards the end, there was a cross-section covering Swarovski’s history through showing various pieces using their stones  – jewellery, shoes, props, etc. Among them was the bra pictured in the last photo – one of my favourite items! :)

And as some things already look a bit old and faded, here are the good news: From October to April, the Crystal Worlds will be renovated and extended – I know what I’ll do next summer! :)

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - wall detail

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - Alexander McQueen tree

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - dome

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - dress

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - Empire State Building

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - model

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - jellyfish

Swarovski Crystal Worlds - bra

An Artist in Residence

edith-platzl1

There is a Textile Gallery (that’s also the name) right across the street were we live and every summer, there is an artist ‘in residence’. I love this installment, as I love to watch the creative process: One can come and go and just see how everything is made and how the workplace looks like – it’s so inspiring!

This year, for the third time, the artist is Edith Platzl. She actually teaches sewing and working with textiles as well as drawing at a school, but on the side, she works as a textile artist. She calls her work ‘drawing with the sewing machine’ and that is literally what she does: She has some sketches as a reference, but the rest is just created on the machine. She sews both on fabric and paper (sometimes into her sketchbooks) and often uses colours additionally to the otherwise black thread.

I’ll just share some pictures from the last three years here – not so much of her actual work, but more of her sketches and workspace, which I find even more interesting!

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edith-platzl6

Monumento

The international fair for restoration and historic preservation, Monumento, was in Salzburg last week and I payed it a visit. As both my parents studied Archaeology and Art History, (and my dad still works in that field), I grew up with an appreciation and interest in history, architecture, art and antiquities. I was very excited to see a showcase of all the different techniques that are used and how much effort and time it takes in order to make old paintings, furniture, floors, facades etc. look as new as they did right after they were finished.

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Fake marble looking like the real stone.

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These guys explained how to make different types of terrazzo.

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The main theme of the fair was ‘stone’, but there were also some sellers who sold those pure, beautiful, natural pigments used for restorations.

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Speaking of stone, there were also some stonemasons who showed their skills.

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Molds and finished pieces made of plastic – if something or a part of it has to be replaced (e.g. If the acid rain damages it too much and the original comes into a museum or if sthg. breaks off.).

another summary…..

It seems to be the only thing I can blog right now – a summary of the last weekend and the following days… So, shall we begin?

Star Trek -- Into Darkness

As mentioned in my last post, I saw Star Trek: Into Darkness on monday, but I also saw it two days earlier with my brother.. 2 times in 3 days? Sounds a bit crazy, I know, but I love going into movies twice – and this one was certainly worth it. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, who hasn’t seen it yet, all can say is: great cast (Benedict Cumberbatch is simply The best), great storyline (not as confusing as the last Star Trek), beautiful design (future London looks fantastic)…. I could go on and on, but that would probably reveal to much… So if you haven’t seen the movie yet, go and do so!

The rest of the weekend I spent with my family in Vienna, mostly visiting museums. I finally cought up with all the exhibitions I wanted to see. The picture is from the Kunsthistorisches Museum. It is totally over the top, but somehow it works for me. I visited the newly renovated ‘Kunstkammer’ there – so many beautiful pieces, my had was spinning when I left. I also visited the secession, an Art Nouveau building with Gustav Klimt’s famous Beethoven Fries inside – sadly, I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures :(DSC05215

Yesterday was also the ‘test day’ for my summer job – I will be working at the Salzburg festival for classic music (Salzburger Festspiele), in the costume department. It’s a dream coming true! I will work in several ‘sub-categories’ there, including millinery, dressmaking, tailoring as well as in the painting and shoemaking department. I’ll start at the end of june and I’m alreday so excited! It’s a big opportunity for me, as I come from a regular school and normaly they just take students, who need an internship somewhere, in order to stay at their school. I really had a lot of luck! :)