When you think fashion, you don’t necessarily think Zurich. But the more I explored this beautiful city, the more I witnessed the fashion and style in restaurants, museums, and streets all around me.
My first stop was the Kunsthaus: Museum of Modern Art which was featuring an exhibit entitled “Fashion Drive: Extreme Clothing in the Visual Arts”. This exhibit showcased how fashion of 500 years ago is seen on our streets and runways today. You know those ripped jeans you own – the ones that add attitude to any outfit? Well, contrary to popular belief, the 70s can’t take credit for this ripped couture idea. This style actually goes back to the Renaissance period. The Renaissance period introduced a couture and was all about the “slashing”. If you are trying to imagine a king with ripped “tights” – well, not quite. The pattern of slashes and tears ranged from arbitrarily patterned to carefully detailed, as shown in Portrait of Diana Cecil, later Countess of Oxford (below), painted by William Larkin in the 17th century.
Regardless of the type of slashing, this style was a symbol of luxury and affluence, representing richness through waste.
My favourite pieces in the museum were Vivienne Westwood’s Red dress (below) from the ‘Cut, Slash & Pull Collection’ and Corset (below) from the “Portrait Collection’.
The museum’s fashion exhibit ignited my shopping bug. My next stop was a stroll down the Bahnhofstrasse, which I had heard was a “street with shops”. That was the understatement of the century! The Bahnhofstrasse is like heaven for your inner Carrie Bradshaw. It has all the classics like Chanel, Dior, Gucci, and also lovely cafes where you can rest your shopping bags and have an aperitif. A must-visit for designer label lovers is Jelmoli, Zurich’s largest premium department store. It has all the designer labels under one very large roof.
A trip to Switzerland would not be complete without indulging in a little…ok a lot..of chocolate. I made multiple visits to Confiserie Sprungli, a Swiss confectionary manufacturer, known for its heavenly macarons, aka “Luxemburgerli”, and varieties of chocolate (below, left). Say Chocolate is also definitely worth a visit as you can create edible messages for your loved ones with Swiss chocolate letters or purchase uniquely decorated pieces of chocolate (below, right).
As I pack my suitcase, and look at the clothes I purchased on my adventure, I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes by Marc Jacobs: “Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them”. So live, love, and laugh and give every outfit meaning. Until next time…
Designer Swap is Canada’s online luxury consignment shop and Toronto-based fashion blog. Find gently-used and pre-loved authentic designer pieces to purchase and read about the newest fashion, beauty, and lifestyle trends. Make sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook!
Images courtesy Anisa Shivji.