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Cardigan, Diamond Rush, 2009
Tina Grässli
Cardigan, Diamond Rush,
Tina Grässli,

Cardigan, Diamond Rush,

Tina Grässli
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Ausstellungsstrasse 60
8031 Zurich
Museum map
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Toni-Areal, Pfingstweidstrasse 94
8031 Zurich
  • Diamond Rush Tina Grässli Cardigan
  • Diamond Rush Tina Grässli Cardigan
  • Diamond Rush Tina Grässli Cardigan
Listen to the text

With their characteristic plaid patterns, the reversible cardigans, hats, and dresses by the Zurich label Xess+Baba are proof that textile design does not have to end at the design phase, but can continue into production and opening one’s own store.

During her textile design studies at the Schule für Gestaltung Zürich, Tina Grässli (b. 1969) created fabrics for specific products. She always tested her patterns first on concrete objects—contrary to the typical professional reality of a textile designer. After earning her degree, Grässli designed plaids with optical color mixing effects and with color progressions and hierarchies, and developed a reversible knitted fabric on her own knitting machine. A first series of industrially produced apparel sold well, but she needed capital to build her own collection. In 1996, Grässli and the jewelry designer Barbara Rüegg (b. 1968) took the plunge and opened their own store. Saus & Braus was the first multi-label store for clothes and accessories produced in limited series. It thus also offered a platform for other designers, enabling them to test market their products. Under the label Xess+Baba, Grässli and Rüegg began in 1997 to produce durable knitted jackets, caps, and dresses whose design quality took its cue more from the criteria of product design than from high fashion. Their plaid in many different colorways became a signature trademark. The double-face knitwear in wool or cotton is reversible and thus offers men and women two contrasting color moods in a single garment. Especially coveted are the Xess+Baba zippered cardigans from the early days, reissued in 2012 by popular demand. (Renate Menzi)

Strickjacke, Diamond Rush, 2009
Entwurf: Tina Grässli
Produktion: Xess + Baba GmbH, Zürich, CH
Material/Technik: Wolle, Jacquard, gestrickt, reversibel
Dauerleihgabe: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Bundesamt für Kultur Bern

Museum für Gestaltung Zürich (Hg.), 100 Jahre Schweizer Design, Zürich 2014, S. 323.

Lotte Schilder Bär / Norbert Wild (Hg.), Designland Schweiz. Gebrauchsgüterkultur im 20. Jahrhundert, Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Zürich 2001.

Image creditso

Strickjacke, Diamond Rush, 2009, Entwurf: Tina Grässli, Produktion: Xess + Baba GmbH, Zürich, CH, Dauerleihgabe: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Bundesamt für Kultur Bern
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Mütze, Tribal Hat – Anapurnas Home Kollektion HW 04/05, 2003, Entwurf: Tina Grässli, Produktion: Xess+Baba GmbH, Zürich, CH
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Shorts und Strickjacke, 1995/2011, Produktion: Xess+Baba GmbH, Zürich, CH
Abbildung: Museum für Gestaltung Zürich / ZHdK

Fotografie, Xess+Baba, Sie und Er – Pulli mit Hose – reversibel – Produktion I, 1998/99, Fotografie: Marc Straumann
Abbildung: Xess+Baba GmbH, Zürich, CH

Exhibition texto

Knitwear is its own category in textile design. After studying at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Zurich, Tina Grässli and Barbara Rüegg developed a reversible plaid pattern on the knitting machine. They founded their own label Xess+Baba in 1994 to market their knitted jackets and caps. Christa Michel, also trained in Zurich, uses the knitting machine to render images and photographs as fabric: each pixel corresponds to a stitch. She produces jacquard sweaters but also art objects.