Background - 17.10.2023 - 16:00 

HSG presents photo exhibition: "100 Years Akris – 125 Years University of St.Gallen"

If there is a fashion house in which fabric, city and university are rooted, it is Akris in St.Gallen, the city of embroidery. A photo exhibition on the HSG campus invites you to discover a total work of art that combines world-class fashion, architecture, furniture design and art in construction.

Iwan Baan's extraordinary photo prints from 2022 show the architecture of the Fördererbau in the best light. They will now hang at the HSG in autumn 2023, inviting visitors to discover and view them in the passageway between the library building and the refectory. The main building, which is used in everyday student life and is sometimes only noticed in passing, will be given a new aesthetic dimension through the exhibition. As an extraordinary experience, the photo gallery sharpens and opens the eye for the total work of art consisting of architecture, furniture design, building art and clothing, and shows the people at the HSG that studying should be characterised by holistic, networked thinking.

Approximately 160 invited guests attended the opening of the campus exhibition yesterday with Albert Kriemler, photographer Iwan Baan, President Bernhard Ehrenzeller, and Yvette Sánchez, President of the Art Commission at HSG.

"One does not expect it together, but it fits perfectly together," described Gulnaz Partschefeld, event moderator and head of HSG Events, the parallels between architecture and clothing, form and color.

"Every building has its own personality," said Iwan Baan. The Förderer Building has its dark moments, with occasional sources of light. It offers different perspectives depending on the direction you take.

President Bernhard Ehrenzeller pointed out that a good exhibition makes guests stop, get inspired, and ultimately develop a new perspective on the building.

Connecting the present and the future with formal language

"Let's call it a new beginning, a moment of pause, a moment in which everything can return or be renewed. A collection in which past, present and future harmonise with each other. A look back to enter a new century." This quote by the St.Gallen fashion designer Albert Kriemler about time being suspended and at the same time encompassing everything connects the HSG and Akris in their anniversary year. The manifold connections of the fashion house Akris Prêt-à-Porter (100 years) and the University of St.Gallen (125 years) are inspiring for both sides. As is well known, the founding of the School of Management was prompted by a need in the emerging textile industry.

"The strength of a small company lies in persisting with ideas," said Albert Kriemler. Due to the image sensitivity of today's society, he hopes to "continuously surprise with the calm Akris signature."

Three generations of original models from the Akris archive inspired Albert Kriemler for his Spring 2023 collection. The garments reflect the timelessness of the Förderer Building, as described by art expert Yvette Sánchez.

HSG Campus: Stage for Akris Collections

In recent years, Akris and the HSG have grown closer together. For example, the buildings on the HSG campus have repeatedly been used as a stage for the presentation of Akris collections. With his Gesamtkunstwerk "Tête", the 27-year-old architect Walter Förderer achieved a visionary feat in the early 1960s. He not only placed high-calibre works of art in the building, but also designed the entire furnishings, which traced the outer form of the building.

The renowned architectural photographer Iwan Baan masterfully stages and merges the historical exposed concrete building with the furniture and clothing patterns of the equally young Albert Kriemler (*1960). His nine exhibited photographs sensitively arrange some of Albert Kriemler's vintage models, created between 1979 and 1992, in the Förderer Building. The dresses and mannequins blend just as harmoniously into the historic building as the works of art by Pierre Soulages, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp or Antoni Tàpies discreetly placed in the background. The pictures on display at the HSG also open the Akris anniversary book on the first 23 pages: Akris – A Century in Fashion: selbstverständlich. (Lars Müller Publishers, 2022).

Images: Iwan Baan
Image of yesterday’s vernissage: Karin Bauer /