Hands up: Akris

October 3, 2022


Seated a white table, in a white living room with white curtains, Albert Kriemler does not seem like someone who talks about himself. His reserve is like his clothes: made to last, without excess, without deviation. “I have eyes in my hands,” says the man whose family business is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Befitting this great collector of contemporary art, the occasion is being celebrated after an absence of two years, at the Musée de l’Art Moderne in Paris under the inspiring light of a rainbow by Ugo Rondinone. “If our clacissism was not modern, we wouldn’t be here,” says this master of investment pieces, whose company is to ready-to-wear what Patek is to timepieces.  A lambskin parka is softer than a glove, a cashmere coat seems to float in space while holding itself. The hand is undoubtedly the link between the past, the present and the future, as the tactile dimension is omnipresent in the brand’s collections, and even more so in the Spring-Summer 2023 collection. For example, the Alpha, the first double-sided cashmere coat created by Max Kriemler (Albert’s father), is one of the nine archival pieces, along with lace and printed hearts, that will not only be shown in Paris on October 1st, but also photographed by Iwan Baan in the iconic building of the University of St. Gallen, a brutalist masterpiece by Water M. Forderer (1963).* Albert Kriemler does not grasp a fabric; he carries on a silent conversation with it. He does not hesitate to ask a weaver for an extra setting, to feel more twist in the threads. A story of movement in a nutshell, of imperceptible and remarkable emotion. “The most beautiful sewing work can become time-worn. “I hate retrospectives,” he says. “The important thing for us is not to be in fashion, but in the window of the moment.” The starting point is always the sketch, but it would remain “theoretical” without the fabric associated with it. “Because the important thing is to be exact”, he adds. The moral of the story then: ”To surprise, while holding one’ s hand”. 

*To mark the occasion, a book has just been published: “A century in Fashion”, by Lars Muller Publishers.

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