We live in a difficult moment due to a social and economic hibernation of almost two years resulting from the pandemic, followed by the brutal blow of war in Europe. Naturally, fashion reacts to that in different ways. We can see some brands bet on timeless minimalism while others fight the moment with glitter and feathers. And one of the best examples of glamour style versus austerity is Judith Bradl, an Italy-based digital creator who Notorious loves and follows on Instagram. Judith Bradl is a storyteller, stylist, PR consultant, and brand ambassador passionate about everything vintage. In our Notorious women #6 series, we’ve talked with Judith Bradl about Milan and Berlin fashion week, style, vintage, and the power of colour.
Vintage Lover, Judith Bradl wearing Top by Moschino, Skirt from MSGM
1- Judith, you have a degree in art history and philosophy; how did fashion come into your life?
I have always been watching the world and living life from a very visual perspective, fascinated by the beauty and everything related to the arts. At this backdrop, clothes and garments had gained importance and began playing a crucial role in my high school – teenage years, which is when I started expressing myself and my point of view mainly through my clothes and daily looks.
I remember quite clearly how I loved creating looks, playing with textiles and wearing all sorts of garments as a child already. I even organized and re-created “photoshoots” in the garden I grew up in and dressed up my neighbours, who did not seem as amused as I was. To me, clothes and costumes felt like a sort of freedom of expression, and they gave me the chance to experiment with different styles on the hunt for my personality.
As I grew up, I realized how much fashion would really mean to me and how life would drive me back to this first passion just after my art history graduation.
However, I feel like fashion is strongly connected to the art world; if not, fashion is art too, and we should finally treat it like that. Given that idea, I feel like designers are artists, and a beautifully designed piece can certainly be a work of art. But, of course, not all art is good art, like within the fine arts field. And it’s the same with fashion. Likewise, not all designs are good designs, but I definitely respect the idea of someone creating a piece and working on a vision and a style.
My personal aim as a content creator, collaborating with brands and designers, is to unite art with fashion by including unique pieces in curated shoots, picking locations very carefully and elaborating a concept for each image/video I’m creating.
Christopher Raxxy Coat
2- You worked with film director Wes Anderson and costume designer Juman Malouf on the acclaimed exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna with Fondazione Prada. Can you tell us a bit about this experience?
Working with Wes and Juman was one of the most enriching experiences of my career, especially since I learned a lot from Wes Anderson’s way of thinking, creating and working. I also really enjoyed talking about clothing and vintage fashion with Juman, who has a great sense of style. Spending time with her during the exhibition preparations and their stay in Vienna, showed me how many common interests we have.
I loved it most when we showed Wes and Juman around the Kunshistorisches Museum and all the breathtaking museum archives, and he found his beloved “Spitzmaus” in the Kunstkammer, which the whole exhibition was later named after, since he was so obsessed with that object. I remember how nervous I was walking through the galleries next to Wes, while he was so humble and loved chatting. Then, suddenly he discovered the coffin of a shrew in a showcase, and he just seemed so flashed and taken by this tiny, ancient object.
Seeing the passion and creativity in his eyes was contagious. By looking at the “Spitzmaus coffin”, he visualized and imagined the whole show already, and I could perfectly think of him on movie sets, acting similarly and being inspired by small objects, which would lead to a great movie. Such a humble genius, I will always look up to as a film director but even more as a person and as an artist. And I will, of course, forever be grateful for the experience of having been a part of the Vienna – Milan “Spitzmaus Mummy in a coffin and other treasures” exhibition.
All Pieces by Gucci
3- Recently, your looks show more clothes from current collections than vintage, although your style remains the same. You look like a heroine from a silent movie if only in those days films were in colour. Talk about the importance of colours in your wardrobe.
Colours indeed play a crucial role in my life and my style attitude. I feel like colours can express what goes beyond superficiality. Colours can be compelling and transport messages clearly, if only we think of the importance of colours and colour schemes in national flags or political views. In a way, I also wear colours to express my inner soul. For instance, recently, my beloved grandmother passed away, and for her funeral, I did not feel like wearing an all-black look, even if society would tell or even force me to do so. Indeed, my grandmother was also obsessed with colours, and she would always wear lots of colours, especially warm tones, as they would put her in a good mood. Similarly, I feel like wearing only blacks (for funerals but also for other events, dinners, meetings etc.) would be like wearing a mask, or a curtain, which would hide my true personality. And I feel like so many people are afraid of wearing colours because they are afraid of showing their true selves and prefer hiding instead of unveiling their mask(s).
Adding a green jacket and an orange head jewel to my black dress at the funeral felt like a beautiful homage to my grandmother’s philosophy of adding colours to your life and having the courage to be yourself. In that sense, colours are the perfect tool to showcase your identity.
Gucci From Head to Toe
4- Where does a vintage lover like you buy clothes from? Do you wear only design, or do Zara and H&M have a place in your wardrobe?
I had proudly abandoned fast fashion companies around six years ago when I switched to buying vintage and second-hand clothes only. Back then, I moved to Vienna and loved spending every minute at flea markets and discovering vintage shops, which were still unpopular back then. What I loved and still love most about vintage fashion is the story a piece will tell, and to be honest, the smell of vintage can not be compared to freshly produced clothing.
The majority of my wardrobe still is vintage or thrifting. Still, recently I love mixing those pieces with designer clothes, especially since collaborating with a bunch of talented, emerging designers and renowned luxury brands such as Gucci, which will forever be my favourite brand, I can totally identify with. Similarly, like Alessandro Michele, I feel like we should appreciate and even use vintage garments, but to keep them on track, revisiting them in a respectful and yet rebellious way, is a great option.
Moncler Sunnies and Versace Jeans Couture Trousers
5- What are the essential pieces to assemble a colourful and detailed capsule wardrobe like yours?
I feel like it’s impossible to pick a few must-have pieces or pieces that one could start with while collecting, preserving or styling a wardrobe. Since I would call myself a collector, I love following my instinct and purchasing whatever feels like me and whatever I could use for a look or idea I have in mind for a shooting project. So perhaps the most essential part to start is your mind and training a creative instinct, which will guide you through selecting and assembling your very personal and unique wardrobe.
Ski Bonnet by Colma Originals, Skirt and Sailor Shirt from Celine
6- You had an intense week in Milan during Fashion Week and Berlin. Could you comment on the most relevant news for the next season?
It’s been amazing to return to Fashion Week in person after these two digital pandemic years, and I feel like people from the industry are more motivated and hopeful than ever to create and dream or fantasize about the future. In terms of shows and next season, I had the pleasure of discovering a bunch of great and also new designers.
My favourite one was, without any doubt: @cormio_fanpage. Their first-ever show at Milan Fashion Week last month was deeply touching, as they hired a choir of young girls and boys, which were singing and at the same time the models of the show. Most of them were in their teenage years, and I feel like that is what fashion should and will continue to do in the upcoming seasons and fashion weeks: including all sorts of models and making fashion finally more approachable!
And as many designers have proved already: fashion can and will be a medium of political statements in the future and current days, as I have seen at the Kilian Kerner show in Berlin. At the end of his show, the models wore a huge sweatshirt stating ‘PEACE’ while a video of people saying ‘Stop war!’ kept playing in the background. This once again confirms how fashion can be as expressive and as powerful as art.
Patrizia Fabri Hats
7- Milan or Berlin?
Without any doubt, I will pick Milan, as I feel like no place can be compared to Italy and the daily pleasures of living in the most beautiful country on earth. However, Milan and Italy are so much more than just beauty – they’re about a way of living and a philosophy of being. That is why my best decision was to move back to Italy after my graduation in Vienna, Austria. And in terms of fashion week, I do not agree with the popular opinion of calling Milan FW ‘too institutional and traditional’, as I keep discovering a young generation of creatives who manage to give the city and fashion event a touch of diversity and inclusiveness.
Gucci and Vintage Lover