Albrecht Ollendiek is a self-taught Frankfurt-based couturier who is not guided by fashions but by discoveries from the art world. The cultured, inveterate world traveler was the subject of a profile I wrote in March. Many decades ago, Ollendiek fell in love with New York, and he chose The Big Apple to unveil his Fall 2022 Haute Couture collection (www.ollendiek.com)
“Liaison Transatlantique” is a collaboration between Ollendiek and A La Vieille Russie (www.alavieillerussie.com). Ollendiek used their jeweled works to accessorize his exclusive Haute Couture Collection.
Albrecht is a longtime fan of the legendary jewelry company, and because he creates garments with the same high standards of design and craftsmanship that permeate ALVR’s jewelry, it’s a match made in heaven.
The collection is approximately fifty pieces. About twenty are in leather/ suede, twenty more in wool bouclé, and about ten pieces have all-over embroidery.
Some take as long as 1500 hours to create by hand. Even though the resulting look is effortless, the design process is complicated. For this couturier, the conventional idea of seasonal collections is old-fashioned. His collections are finished when they are finished.
“I want the overall appearance to look as though my customer had a little too much to drink, went into her closet, and picked out a few things that intentionally unintentionally turned out to look perfect!” –Albrecht Ollendiek
The presentation was in two parts. On Wednesday evening, the setting was A La Vieille Russie’s elegant galleries located at 745 Fifth Avenue. The following night, the intimate venue was a chic hotel suite located at The Sherry Netherland Hotel. It was a wonderful way to see the remarkable jewels, the clothes, and the fabrics up close.
Ollendiek is searching for the most exclusive suppliers, top weavers, lace makers, furriers, and tanneries. The greater part of the Paris-made fabrics employed in Ollendiek’s collections is designed solely for his business. Most are lined with original silk prints. Francois Boucher’s paintings inspired last winter Olleindiek.
Ollendiek says it is more fun to do the unexpected than to be your peer’s “group slave.” He describes his customers as self-confident women from 19 – 90 who know what they want. “I don’t make fashion for bridge club wives,” Albrecht deadpans.
Everything has to be “just so,” and by his own admission, Albrecht is exacting, and he can drive those he works with crazy at times. The designer loves paradoxes and prefers when things are a little bit off and a bit surprising.
“I want my customers to be the most sophisticated and the most unpredictably dressed,” says Ollendiek, who loves to downplay the luxurious and elevate the banal. His designs are formal but have underlying ease, bourgeois yet rebellious, and feminine but rough and tough — rather than precious.
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Love this designer–At laast clothes you can actually wear yet look distinctive.
Good work Marilyn