Learning by Wearing

Thoughts from our expert on design, gadgets and joie de vivre.

I remember the day I discovered that clothing told a story. It was in a dusty room as a first year fashion student, listening to a professor tell us that in the 20th century, practically all high fashion originated in Paris. Other countries sent their editors there to buy, copy or openly steal the designs presented each year at the city of love’s famous fashion shows. With periodicals publishing pictures for the first time, people wonder and curiosity, the time of the Belle Époque (Beautiful Age), a time of widening horizons and the beginning of modern fashion design as we know it.

Today, fashion is an important part of everyday life, whether you look at the casual dresser with a classic t-shirt and jeans combination or the fashion lover with the limited edition sneakers and in-depth knowledge of up-and-coming brands. Every day when we get dressed, we decide how the world perceives us and how we see ourselves. And still at the end of the day, not many could tell you anything about the history of the clothes they wear.

In a fast-paced world, where styles go out of ­fashion in mere months, it is all the more important to be able to pinpoint the moment a trend, a cut or a fabric was born. The history of clothing is itself fascinating, from Mark Twain’s invention of the bra-strap clasp to the sailors from Genoa, Italy who gave blue denim its name – jeans. There are a thousand stories to be told about the amazing moments in fashion history and I hope that with this editorial we have done credit to that legacy.

Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” For me, this couldn’t be truer today. Through my research, I’ve come into contact with great people, like Jesse from JP Watch Design and dedicated companies, like Earthwatch Institute and AVEDA, and they have inspired me again. I remembered the importance of looking into how things are produced, their influences and what brands stand for. You never know when you might need that knowledge again.

I remember a couple of years ago, I got somewhat obsessed with information about free-diving (diving without scuba gear). I looked up everything about its history, the record holders and free diving’s impact on the body. A few months later, a friend randomly said, “I wonder how long a human can hold their breath.”

Finally, I could impart my wisdom.

Ali Rabbani
Creative director and stylist for film and print. He studied fashion in Vienna and has worked all over the world in styling, set and food design, as well as art direction for advertising and fashion shoots, videos and shows. See his work @iamrabbani

Help us help you

“Strong media and independent journalism are built on the shoulders of subscribers. Your support means the world to us.

Benjamin Wolf
COO & Managing Editor

The coronavirus outbreak affects and challenges your life in big and small ways. Metropole is here for you and we are proud to be your news source during this crisis.

But just as the coronavirus has increased the need for independent journalism, it has also undercut a major revenue source of media companies, ours included – advertising.

We need your support to keep it up – donate or subscribe and #helpushelpyou!

Support Metropole!


RECENT Articles

Coronavirus in Austria & Vienna | A Winter Season Without Àpres-Ski

The coronavirus has arrived in Austria. Here’s all you need to know about current measures, including where to get help, information and tips – updated regularly.

Torches on the Hill – Ultra-Conservatives March on the Kahlenberg

The Kahlenberg Church stands where an allied army gathered at dawn September 12, 1683 before sweeping down from the hills to break the Turkish siege of Vienna. Today it is both a cause for celebration and a rallying point for dubious arch-conservative fringe groups.

In Safety and Freedom, Romanian Entrepreneurs Found Success in Vienna

Romanians’ entrepreneurial spirit, long suppressed under the communist regime, is experiencing a renaissance – it can be felt even in Vienna.

SALONFÄHIG – Austrian Vintages That Hold Their Own Anywhere

The annual Wine Salon in Palais Coburg presented a tough jury's selection of the best of the current year. The setting was magnificent, the wines too.

COVID in High Places: Star Director Robert Dornhelm Tests Positive After VIP Eve...

“Freud” director Marvin Kren steps in for leading Austrian filmmaker, who remains ill following an Aug 18 diagnosis and an elite reception at Grafenegg.

The Out of Control Fringes

At a protest against coronavirus restrictions in Vienna, far-right extremists put on a homophobic display in front of a cheering crowd, while drawing outrage from the Greens.


Join over 5,000 Metropolitans, who already get monthly news updates and event invitations.