Art & Culture

Gustav Klimt and Emilie Flöge: Who got inspired by whom

Everybody in Vienna knows this amazing painter, symbolist, father and the leader of the Viennese Secession. He became popular because of his provocative erotic paintings and an unusual drawing style. But Emilie Flöge has opened the world of fashion for him.
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Like every artist, Gustav Klimt also needed inspiration and his muse became Emilie Flöge. 

She is known as an Austrian fashion designer and lover of Klimt.  

In 1904 Emilie and her sister opened couture studio for Austria Bohemia "Schwestern Flöge" (Sisters Flöge). They were supporting the movement of the "Rational Dress Society", which were against dresses with a corset.

As a student of the president of the Viennese Secession, Emilie Flöge has made a revolution in the fashion industry.
Designer ideas of Flöge called "reformatory dresses", and they were carrying the spirit of freedom. She set women free from the tight corsets and underlined femininity
with the loose fit. 
Dresses decorated with circles, triangles, ovals and other geometrical ornaments are her doing. She thought that the emancipation of fashion will lead to free thinking. 

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Emilie Flöge

Designer ideas of Emilie Flöge were reborn in Valentino collection Fall/Winter 2015/2016.

The best designers of the Secession movement made the interior of the studio. Her atelier flourished and almost every reach woman in Vienna had a dress from "Schwestern Flöge" atelier. Furthermore, this place became the meeting place for these women.

Clients of Gustav Klimt became clients of Emilie after his recommendations. Ladies from Jewish elite families ordered their portraits from Gustav Klimt and were posing in Flöge’s dresses.


He played an important role for the designer career of his beloved one. It is hard to say if Klimt was taking part in creating the interior for the salon, but he personally designed a couple of dresses with a loose fit.

For example, Gustav Klimt designed the dress for Hermine Gallia, which we can see at her portrait. 
Dresses on the portraits of Sonja Knips and Friederike Beer were made Flöge.



Emilie Flöge by Gustav Klimt

Klimt and Emilie were interested in ornaments and collecting. We can see almost the same patterns and ideas on her dresses and his paintings. So, that’s the question: Who got inspired by whom…?

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Gustav Klimt and Emilie Flöge

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