Inspired by Vienna and styling her city
Saving traditions sometimes seems like mission impossible, but Lena Hoschek not only reinterprets traditional motifs, she also creates feminine fashion that goes beyond trends into the timelessly beautiful.
The perfect balance between devotion for tradition and staying relevant on the fashion scene is a tricky task, but Lena Hoschek seems to have the perfect recipe. Even without paying much attention to the unwritten rules of the couture runway, with its trends and its seasons, the Austrian designer is the first that comes to mind when we think about the local fashion scene.
Vienna might not be a big fashion capital when compared to the Big 4, but it has a lovely local flavour when you see what it produces. We’ll let Lena guide you through her design work, local fashion and some travel tips for Vienna. Enjoy!
An Austrian designer, with a beautiful store in Vienna, promoting traditional motifs on the runways of the world – does it get any better than that? What are you most proud of, from your achievements in the past decade?
Actually I am proud of myself because I founded my label at the age of twenty-four and managed to keep my private and professional life in balance. Otherwise I could not even enjoy my success.
But the thing I am most proud of is the fact that I am still producing within Europe and that I am employing more than thirty people…and counting.
Lena Hoschek | 10 Year Anniversary | Photo: Hilde Van Mas
The popular Tradition line seems like an ode to local artisans and crafts. Are these traditional crafts still alive on the streets of Vienna?
No, unfortunately not but this is also why I am very dedicated to keep it alive. Handicraft becomes extinct in Austria, which is also why I need to produce a lot in Croatia.
However, it is important to present craftsmanship to customers and make it available right off the rack. Next to „Heimatwerk“, I am probably the only one who offers ready-made handcrafted Prêt-à-porter pieces.
Dirndl Kreszenz | Tradition Line | Photo: Lupi Spuma
Your collections have many celebrity fans and customers, from the bold sensuality of Dita von Teese to the elegance of Christina Hendricks. But who would be the ideal representative for your brand? And how do you imagine the woman who wears your creations?
We found the ideal representative with Dita von Teese. Her style is not based on trends. I really appreciate that because honestly I don´t give a sh** about trends. Furthermore Dita represents femininity and sensuality paired with charm and humour.
It´s a great honour to experience that my label´s clothes are valued niche products among vintage lovers and pin-up icons. Next to Dita, I have another new girl crush: Holliday Grainger. She is just adorable.
What is your personal style? Do you wear your own creations or do you prefer a simple & casual look, like many top designers seem to do?
Of course I wear my own creations because they are not simply designs or drafts to me. They represent a lifestyle I am dedicated to. I am very accurate when it comes to that.
Picnic | SS 2014 | Photo: Lupi Spuma
What is the style of Vienna? How glamorous are local fashionistas?
That´s my favourite question because now I need to try not to offend everybody.
Vienna once had been – next to Paris – THE fashion metropolis. Unfortunately, Vienna does not play that role anymore. Nowadays local designers move away and settle in London or Berlin. I am basically one of the only ones who is staying in Austria.
Generally speaking, the Viennese style is very decent, not cheap and quite chic. People care about quality. However, sometimes that kind of decent style can appear a bit boring because there´s nothing courageous about it.
What I really do miss in Vienna, are stores which offer unique stuff. Unfortunately there are more and more big fashion chains dominating the streetscape.
Femme Totale | AW 2015-2016 | Photo: Lupi Spuma
What should we pack for a city trip? Any fashion faux-pas to avoid?
I recommend Budapest for a city trip. It´s my new favourite „Berlin“ because it is very vibrant and you see a lot of handcrafted things.
Absolutely necessary for this kind of city trip are a pair of comfortable shoes, like my ballerinas. IF you want to travel light (which I NEVER do), I also recommend a ribbon skirt. You can combine it with a lot of different pieces, as the Atelier Jacket, the Muse Coat and tough boots or simply a cosy jumper when it´s freezing.
A fashion faux-pas would be functional wear and trekking shoes. Although you are exploring a city, you do not necessarily need to look like a tourist.
What piece of clothing or fashion accessory would make a good souvenir from Vienna?
A Lena Hoschek ribbon skirt is definitely a good souvenir.
When it comes to other things than fashion, I recommend Altmann & Kühne and their lovely little drawers filled with chocolates.
Hot Mama Africa | SS 2015 | Photo: Lupi Spuma
From a fashion lover to another, what hotspots in Vienna would you recommend to us?
My own store in the 7th district, FLO Vintage, Atelier Millich-Art (for vintage and costume jewellery), Susanne Bisovsky (for Eastern Euopean bohemian couture – I think it´s appointment only though)
An artisan shop to visit…
Ludwig Reiter, Demel, Augarten Porzellan
Best coffee in town…
Cafe Sperl within the arty and fun 6th district, Gasthaus Schilling, Wratschko, Skopik & Lohn (best Entrecote, nice owner, good music, cool crowd!), Zum Schwarze Kameel within the 1st district (you can also buy there really good delicacies), Kaffee Alt Wien, Kleines Café, on Saturdays: the flea market and Cafés on Naschmarkt!
The perfect cocktail at sunset…
Zum Schwarze Kameel, Roberto´s Bar, 25h Hotel, Motto am Fluss
For a night to remember…
Check the ARENA for a good concert and go to dinner at Skopik & lohn. Afterwards go dancing at the legendary Tanzcafé Jenseits and meet up at a „Würstelstand“ (sausage stand) before finally going to bed.
The perfect wedding location in Vienna with a Lena Hoschek gown…
Depends on the style of wedding the bride chooses. There are many possibilities because there are many palaces, like the Palais Liechtenstein or Palais Schönburg, within the city center.
Couture Collection | SS 2015 | Photo: Lupi Spuma
But you don’t have to be planning a wedding to have enjoyed the story and the wonderful campaign shots in this article. You can see more such beauty on Lena Hoschek’s Online Store and enrich your wardrobe with a timeless statement piece. And if a visit sounds even more tempting, try out Lena’s tips for things to do in Vienna, preferably while wearing your newly acquired Lena Hoschek gown. I wish you many stylish travels!