Superated: A Sartorial Hermaphrodite

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Published February 28, 2011

 

THE FAÇADE OF SUPERATED’S CONCEPT STORE. PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMSTAG.

Before launching his own line and concept store in Vienna, Peter Holzinger, also known as Superated, worked for Viktor & Rolf and Raf Simons. Today, his clothes combine the exuberance of the former and the minimalism of the latter. “By mixing exaggerated volumes and shapes with classical tailoring, I propose fashion that has an element of surprise—a sense of humor along with utilitarian elegance,” Holzinger says.

This Paris Fashion Week, Holzinger is proving that his bipolar vision can also be applied to gender. He is launching a woman’s line entitled “Two-Spirit”—the term, derived from ancient Native American language, describes a person who houses both male and female spirits within their body. Like a sartorial hermaphrodite, the collection offers pin-striped suits, sheepskin capes, leggings, and more—blurring boundaries not only between gender constructs, but also between tradition and modernity. Classical Austrian “Loden” overcoats and ponchos with Velcro straps punctuate the line.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUPERATED

 

“Superated is not a unisex line, but rather transforms conventional attitudes towards clothing,” Holzinger explains. “The end result is a collection that gives a certain sense of freedom to its wearer, regardless of their gender.”

Talking of creative freedom, there is a sense of duality in designing in Vienna, Holzinger says. On one hand, the city has “a long and rich history of creativity—sometimes this heritage can be somewhat of a burden to carry.” Conversely, he says, “Austria was never really known for its fashion, so in a way it feels like there is everything to create, like there is a clean slate and we can begin fashion history today.”

A fan of his hometown who’s aware of its pluri-disciplinary richness, Holzinger also decided to create, in 2010, his own concept store, “Samstag.” Interior designer Florian Sammer was in charge of the boutique; his graphicism was harmonized with a façade painted by street artist Yotto Bano and figurative painter Andreas Pasqualini, and humorous art work on the interior walls by illustrator Marianne Vlaschitz. “Vienna’s cultural scenes are heavily based on concept and tradition,” said Holzinger, adding that for the boutique, he “commissioned people who are mavericks in their own fields, not following predetermined concepts.”

His clothes, like his boutique, are about “the rebirth of self-appropriation, and propose clothing that is aware of the body but also appealing to the intellect. Intelligence is the sexiest aspect of a person.”

SUPERATED WILL SHOW HIS “TWO-SPIRIT” FALL/WINTER 2011 WOMEN’S LINE FROM MARCH 5-7 IN TWO SHOWROOMS IN PARIS.