Bernhard William & Jutta Kraus
Drawing inspiration directly from the nursery, Pippi Longstocking, Southern German lederhosen and "Bratwurst culture," the fashion design duo Bernhard Willhelm (born 1972) and Jutta Kraus (born 1972) make clothing that radically intermingles popular culture and highbrow culture, the expensive and the cheap, tradition and innovation. Willhelm (who has worked as an assistant to Alexander McQueen, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck and others) and Kraus make a deliberate break with traditional European ideals of beauty, projecting instead a patchwork of influences and juggling wild patterns, vibrant colors and contrast-rich prints. Other influences include Japanese martial arts, the iconography of the Medieval Dance of Death, contemporary sportswear and the singular stylings of the late Michael Jackson. Willhelm and Kraus bombard wearers and onlookers alike with an abundance of motifs.