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A designer’s guide to artisanal shopping in Vienna

2. Best for artisanal luxury clothing and unique gifts: Leopoldstadt (2nd district)

“You know what I’m going to say,” said Song, jokingly. But her seminal “artisanal luxury” boutique Atelier Song has held a serious grip on Vienna’s design scene for 25 years, particularly since it moved to the city’s former Jewish quarter, Leopoldstadt in 2006. “When I came here, nothing was going on,” said Song. After a number of hotels, restaurants and coffee houses opened in the area, “it naturally organically developed… in Vienna they say it’s ‘hipstery’. It’s a quite lively street now.”

But Atelier Song is still the neighbourhood’s only boutique, and it’s perhaps the edgiest in the entire city. Song sells her own designs as well as items from avantgarde designers “on the borderline between art and fashion”; each item exclusively available at her shop. “We have so many things,” she said. “Glassware, perfume, beautiful candles, handmade gloves, cashmere throws, ceramics… I feel like I’m showing my private taste. It’s an extension of my private space.”

That taste is aggressively anti-trend yet luxe, like designs by British shoe and clothing designer Paul Harnden. “He handmakes [everything],” said Song. “Everything is woven for him using the old machines. And that’s why his pieces are expensive, durable and timeless.”