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Redefining the Apron

Old-fashioned? Far from it – the young fashion designer Annelie Schubert reinterprets the classic symbol of homely motherhood

Flower patterns, non-creasing fabric and everything but fashionable. If there is an item of clothing that at first glance has the same sex appeal as a pair of washed-out tennis socks, it must be the kitchen apron. The young fashion designer Annelie Schubert sees it quite differently. And in fact when you first set eyes on the 29 year-old's sophisticated designs, you ask yourself why people still walk around in T-shirts and blazers instead of simply putting on one of her aprons. Because like protective shields gently hugging the silhouette, Schubert's designs embody everything the modern woman expects from her outfit: subtle sensuousness and expressive elegance.

© Lukas Korschan

'It is my aim to allow women to feel both secure and attractive in my clothing,' the designer explains. There is no better way to express the complexity of modern femininity – and certainly not when it comes to clothing. Initially, Schubert was above all fascinated by the form and the functional nature of the apron: 'The long front and open back enable me to create a similarity with other clothing items such as a T-shirt or sweatshirt, and to make different layers visible.' Rather than recognisable jackets, blouses or dresses, Schubert reveals details and inter-relationships. She combines individual components into a self-consistent outfit which is always 'somewhere in between'.

© Lukas Korschan

Imaginative tailoring and new silhouettes were the factors that distinguished Schubert's designs at the International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, one of the most important international fashion competitions. This is where Göttingen-born Schubert won the jury prize this spring, which led Mercedes-Benz and ELLE magazine to invite her to present her collection at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Berlin in spring/summer 2016.

It is not only the versatility of her designs that is met with a highly positive response: Upon closer examination her composite designs reveal themselves as an attempt to answer the question how we will chose to clothe ourselves in the future in a society increasingly characterised by dynamism and transient identities. As a casual-cum-formal, a youthfully feminine item of clothing and one that is suitable for all occasions and can easily be put on in a hurry before leaving the house, the kitchen apron does not appear to be the worst solution.

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