Rado Star Prize Switzerland for Young Talent


Knock on wood

Graduate Collection 2014 

Elisa Kaufmann

Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Basel / FHNW
Institute of Fashion Design 


Prof. Priska Morger (mentor),
Prof. Kurt Zihlmann (institute director)

In collaboration with:

Patrick Doggweiler (interior architect, Möhlin AG)
for wood accessoires.

Consisting of eight outfits and various accessories, this diploma collection with the programmatic title Knock on wood draws inspiration from two thematic areas – wood as a material and human superstition. Wood is understood here as a primeval base material which can provide physical and psychological grounding. The collection tries to form wood around the body in contemporary style. The individual wooden garment sections, which are conceived of in a sculptural light, support the physical stance of the wearer and at the same time influence the way in which the textiles play around the body. For the wearer of the collection, who is imagined to be superstitious, wood is not just a material but an ideational symbol of control and eternity. Wood helps her to keep a grip on her own destiny.

Comments by the Nominators

The extensive exploration of a material – in this case wood – and three-dimensional design form the solid basis for this ladies’ fashion collection, which convincingly plays on the theme of superstition. The designer is clearly in search of innovative approaches, and her fashion is deliberately opposed to the rapid turnover of the industry.