Portrait of Emilie Flöge by Gustave Klimt
Yesterday after work, I went to see the exhibition "Sparklers: Emilie Flöge and Jewelry of Wiener Werkstätte" at the Wien Museum. The WW was an institution established in 1903 that created works of craftsmanship in a very distinct style, shifting emphasis away from the opulence characteristic of the fin-de-siécle to simple shapes, minimal decoration and geometric patterns, and setting ornamentally semi-precious stones instead of diamonds. Influenced by the English Arts and Crafts movement, the designers (Hoffman, Moser, Wimmer-Wisgrill, Czeschka and Peche) closely collaborated with master craftsmen to produce the typical WW look.
Emilie Flöge, partner and muse of Gustav Klimt, often posed as model for WW jewelry, and sold it at the fashion salon she ran with her sisters. She herself designed and wore eccentric outfits, often donning a reform dress patterned with the black and white stripes and squares also reflected in the minimalistic decor of their rooms: a perfect example of the credo of the WW, namely, to imbue all areas of daily life with artistic design!