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> Fashion Designer Category B
Designers duo: Bernhard Willhelm, Jutta Kraus. Bernhard Willhelm (1972, Ulm, Germany) graduated in 1998 from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp with his collection "Le Petit Chapeau Rouge". For this collection he received the Flanders Fashion Institutes prize of honour. In September of the same year Bjrk ordered an outfit from this collection. Whilst studying he worked as assistant to Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Dirk Bikkembergs and Walter Van Beirendonck. In the spring of 1999 Bernhard Willhelm showed his first women's collection in Paris and was immediately praised as one of the most innovative young fashion designers. Simultaneously a photo exhibition that he had realised together with Belgian artist Anne Daems was on show in a Paris art gallery. Inspired by Bavaria, his native region, he brings a completely new interpretation of folkloristic clothes, traditional needlework, knitwear and fashion culture. He designs blouses in the shape of a flower, reshapes the classical coat, likes Dirndls with a plunging neckline, asks his mother to crochet hats, shoes, socks and accessories, and incorporates a lot of patchwork with nave tableaux such as landscapes from his native country. Bernhard Willhelm fully rethinks the traditional fashion, deconstructs and rebuilds it. He pushes the boundaries of what is wearable and has developed in an incredibly short time a very authentic and humorous fashion language.
In October 2000 he also designed a men's collection. From the outset Bernhard Willhelm has been inseparable from his business partner Jutta Kraus. He considers her to be his alter ego, a sounding board and a partner that not only backs him when it comes to organising but also makes sure that his ideas get translated and elaborated.
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