Just in time for the Berlin Fashion Week starting next week, the Lipperheide Costume Library at the Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin opened its new exhibition, entitled “Visions & Fashion: Images of Fashion 1980-2010” on display from June 30 until October 9, 2011.
Many distinguished member of the Berlin fashion and culture scene gathered for the opening remarks by director of the Costume Library, curator, and author Adelheid Rasche, as she outlined her vision for the conception of the exhibition.
Fashion images – artistic interpretations of fashion in the form of photography and illustration – have always formed a core component of the Art Library’s fashion division: the Lipperheide Costume Library. This year’s exhibition focuses on the exciting relationship between fashion and the image over the last 30 years, with some 200 original works on show by international photographers, illustrators and freelance artists.
The second part of the exhibition features a representative selection of diverse forms of visual communication from the fashion industry, presented from various thematic perspectives. These include: billboard campaigns (such as for Benetton, Missoni and Comme des Garçons), a broad spectrum of print media (Six, Visionaire, Achtung), lookbooks and corporate advertising, video clips, websites and fashion blogs. All these media forms illustrate how diverse the channels of communication have become in fashion today. Without communication, fashion cannot reach its market, it needs images to reach a global audience and to receive global recognition.
The exhibition ‘Visions & Fashion’ takes a selective look at the history of fashion and style in the last 30 years, picking out the most interesting fashion shots from the flood of images that wash over us every day, and presenting the visitor with various aspects of the colourful relationship between fashion and the image.
The featured artists are:
Ruben Alterio, François Berthoud, Cem Bora, Michel Comte, Mats Gustafson, Gregor Hohenberg, Françoise Huguier, Katerina Jebb, Antonio Lopez, Christin Losta, Martin Mago, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, Rico Puhlmann, Carola Seppeler, Eric Traoré, Tony Viramontes and Nancy Wilson-Pajic.
The bilingual exhibition catalog organised by Kunstbibliothek, Sammlung Modebild – Lipperheidesche Kostümbibliothek, Berlin, edited by Adelheid Rasche together with Jan May features contributions by authors such as Jan May, Adelheid Rasche, Hildegard Ringena and Moritz Wullen, and graphic design by Bureau Mario Lombardo, Berlin.
The exhibition (and the catalog) will be of interest to anyone who has been following mainstream fashion media for the last 30 years. It presents fashion as a mediated phenomenon, one that is at once very familiar to us (through advertising and magazines) and simultaneously, one that remains unattainable, mysterious, and mesmerizing.
It is also a self-reflexive vision of Berlin’s fashion culture (as the c.neeon exhibition poster and many of the photographs selected here suggest). Berlin’s struggle for a fashion museum (which my co-author Susan Ingram and I outlined in our book Berliner Chic: A Locational History of Berlin Fashion) continues, and the ever-delayed reconstruction plans at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (across from the Costume Library) have once again been delayed until 2012. But after the long-awaited reconstruction, the Kunstgewerbemuseum will reopen (in 2014) with a permanent fashion exhibition of its impressive international fashion collection.