Fashion Photography

Iconic Fashion Shoots in Austria

World Famous Magazines’ and Brands’ Austrian Projects

Austria is an unique country regarding both its history, culture and natural environment. These are all aspects that have inspired and drawn in fashion creatives throughout the decades. Due to its stunning architecture and fashion scene, Vienna has become a location for countless photo shoots and well as fashion events. The aristocratic style of Salzburg has inspired both Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, making it quite a center for the brand. Next to this the Alps are the perfect home for sport brands, and is also the birthplace of Swarovski.

Austria is an unique country regarding both its history, culture and natural environment. These are all aspects that have inspired and drawn in fashion creatives throughout the decades. Due to its stunning architecture and fashion scene, Vienna has become a location for countless photo shoots and well as fashion events. The aristocratic style of Salzburg has inspired both Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, making it quite a center for the brand. Next to this the Alps are the perfect home for sport brands, and is also the birthplace of Swarovski.

Vienna, the Cultural Empire’s Capital

Vienna not only had a key role in the past as the political and cultural heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire; it is still an important location today, drawing in millions of visitors every year. It is a capital rich in history and in many areas of culture, including fashion. Many seek inspiration in the city’s historic art, such as Gustav Klimt and the other Secession artists’ unique visual language. Furthermore, countless high quality contemporary art and applied art exhibitions ensure fresh trends a platform and inspiration. Yearly a fashion week is hold here presenting catwalk collections from international and Austrian, acclaimed and up-and-coming designers.

The international fashion magazine Vogue has taken a great liking to this city. For example they published a travel guide in which the top curator Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt says the following praise about Vienna: “We’ve always had art, crafts, and music, so the creative infrastructure is pre-existing, and now there’s a resurgence of interest, Vienna is now on the international map—artists, creatives, and the like are moving here,” ensuring that Vienna will continually become more and more an exciting place for the creative industry. In 2016 Vogue organized their Fashion’s Night Out in Vienna’s Goldenes Quartier, a center of high fashion, which was not only a great oppurtunity to shop late into the night, but also to view fashion shows on a golden catwalk.

Youtube Vogue fashion's night out in vienna

The Austrian capital has countless different faces that can be used as stylish or quirky locations for any kind of photoshoot. For example the world famous fashion photographer Mario Testino’s The Last Waltz series for Vogue in 2009 focused on Vienna’s grandiose past, shooting in golden palaces and cobblestreet allies. The city’s iconic café culture also appears in the shoot, when the model sharing a slice of cake with a charming elderly local lady. Two photos were taken in the historic Spanish Riding School in Vienna, which looks back to 450 years of history and is a much loved tourist attraction today. In one of the last photos Natalia Vodianova strolls elegantly in the Stadtpark in front of the beautiful building Kursalon, a music hall, which has been a key location for classical music for centuries.

The Korean singer, actor and model Kim Jaejoong was featured in an extensive photoshoot for bnt news, a Korea-based fashion, beauty and entertainment magazine. Dressed in elegant black he sits in front of a historic café reading Schubert. In a variety of other stylish outfits he poses in front of historic palaces. He also must have taken a liking to the fountain in front of the Hundertwasserhaus, but also the English telephone box, which is mysteriously placed in front of this iconic house. He also takes a ride into the past on one of the emblematic Viennese horse drawn carriages. The historic architecture of Austria’s imperial past combined with Kim’s charm created a uniquely stylish European atmosphere.

Youtube kim jaejoong during the shoot in vienna

A special photoshoot worth mentioning for its creativity is an editorial for the fashion magazine Jute. Here the photographer strictly focused on public statues of various styles, paired with white and pastel coloured elegant clothing to match the historic grandeur. The series’ central image stands out with the model’s golden dress matching the Statue Of Johann Strauss in Vienna’s Central Park, one of Austria’s most loved and respected composers. The contrast between the soft and temporal human body and the eternal nature of statues has been a much loved theme for centuries. The grandiose memorials of the country’s imperial past and rich culture undoubtedly inspire many a photographer to create shoots based on this topic.

Another fashion photoshoot featuring statues is Giovanni Squatriti’s collection of intense photographs for the 2015 September issue of Harper’s Bazaar Men’s Style China. Monumental columns and dramatic statues offer a perfect backdrop for the powerful black and white photographs featuring clothes like Emporio Armani and Givenchy. The model’s masculine facial bone structure, the deep shadows and stylish outfits have a strong impact on the viewer, forming an undoubted impression of high quality male fashion. These narrow compositions and large contrasts create an overwhelming presence of an immense past.

The Austrian born, established fashion photographer Norbert Kniat returned to Vienna to shoot the Russian model Kristina Luskova for Gucci Mumbai. The model appeared in beautiful floral and minimalist dresses in front of the Austrian parliament and along the Ring Street, circling around the heart of the capital. Naturally, neither the stunning royal Schönbrunn Palace nor the Prater amusement park’s ferris wheel could be left out. This editorial focused on photographing her towering over the historic locations, aiming to express the dominance with which she is empowered by the featured style.

Vienna is home to a vast range of locations, atmospheres and cultural, historical places, which all have their own unique appeal for a photoshoot. As a center of the arts, the Austrian capital has drawn in many creatives, designers and photographers both in the past and present forming a constantly developing complex and diverse cultural scene.

Chanel’s Inspiration: Salzburg

Salzburg is a city that has had a huge impact on European and global culture in general as well. It is the birthplace of Mozart and home to many film locations of the world famous movie The Sound of Music. For fashion it is highly significant, because it was here that a bell boy’s uniform inspired Coco Chanel to design her emblematic Chanel jacket for women.

To express his admiration and respect, and to reconnect with the roots of Chanel’s style, Karl Lagerfeld designed a Chanel collection that he previewed in the rococo palace Schloss Leopoldskron. The Métiers d’Art 2014/15 collection revisits the characteristic Chanel jacket tailoring and materials combining it with historic and traditional Austrian motifs and styles. Instead of a bland catwalk hall, the viewers were seated in a royal room furnished with centuries old chairs and tables overflowing with fruit and other delicacies. Among many beautiful models the world famous Cara Delevingne was the center of the show.

Youtube chanel show in the schloss leopoldskron

Karl Lagerfeld created an exceptional short film with Cara Delevingne and the American musician Pharrell Williams, which shows the magical reincarnation of Queen Sisi and her husband at midnight. This musical fairytale is a great example of how the Austrian monarchs of the past have an enchanting appeal even today.

Youtube chanel's reincarnation film

Cara also featured in a photoshoot paired yet again with Pharrell Williams and the child Hudson Kroenig, creating scenes of an Austrian royal family shot by Karl Lagerfeld. Among green historic furniture, they pose as if sitting for a royal court painter, starring dominantly into the camera’s lense.

Chanel revisited the von Trapp’s home Schloss Leopoldskron yet again in 2015 to shoot an Austrian culture inspired collection. These dynamic and playful images are brilliant at conveying the richness and diversity of this historic location. Each outfit builds on the tradition of Austrian clothing in a different way, each has its own unique look which they successfully combined with an atmospheric corner or special part of the palace. This artistic photoshoot is a perfect example of how intertwined history and contemporary fashion can get.

Therefore, Salzburg has lately been in the limelight of one of the most influential designers and brands. Its cultural richness has drawn in and given birth to some of the most important creatives and projects in Europe, and it is a city still open to any project wishing to connect with this amazing tradition.

The Alps

The Austrian Alps attracts people from all around the world thanks to its stunning white mountains, ideal for both an active or a peaceful holiday. Traditional wooden huts in charming towns offer an opportunity to connect to the Austrian culture of the past. This is exactly what Zanita the acclaimed blogger aimed for when she organized to shoot Ola Farahat for Swarovski. She chose the Alps as the location to refer to the jewellery brand’s history, since it was founded in the Alps more than 120 years ago.

Next to the elegant, aristocratic atmosphere of these historic places, the Alps also has a very vibrant sports and extreme sports scene. These enormous mountains are covered in snow all year round, making them an ideal location to practice all of the winter sports, which makes it one of the number one locations for any sport related photoshoots.

A good example of the exciting possibilities awaiting photographers is the German Myself Magazine’s editorial featuring snow wear by such brands as Stella McCartney, Chanel and Fendi. The striking black and white ski suit photographed by Klaas Jan alludes to another aspect of Alpine culture. 

The Austrian Alps’ main characteristics are its awe-inspiring natural settings, rich traditions and adventurous locations for sports and extreme sports. The country has developed in order to facilitate both visitors and professionals in top quality conditions, equipping them with all one could need to shoot in these extraordinary locations.

Austria is a country with exceptionally rich history and culture, which has both facilitated and inspired creatives over the centuries. Many designers and photographers have been drawn to this country to reconnect with its grandiose monarchic past, but also with its vibrant constantly developing present.

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