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"Dress Code" exhibition in the Bundeskunsthalle: 60 fashion designers on display including Armani, Burberry, Chanel and more

"Dress Code" exhibition in the Bundeskunsthalle : 60 fashion designers on display including Armani, Burberry, Chanel and more

"Dress Code. Playing with Fashion" is the name of a new exhibition at the Bundeskunsthalle. It’s for sure a potential crowd-pleaser with current fashion trends from 60 different designers on display. The Bundeskunsthalle hopes to reopen to the public in the next few days.

It's Thursday morning at the Bundeskunsthalle, where the new exhibition “Dress Code: Das Spiel mit der Mode” ( "Dress Code. Playing with Fashion”) is putting the finishing touches on. "We very much hope that we will be allowed to open in the next few days," says spokesman Sven Bergmann. The eagerness to open again is understandable. Indeed, "Dress Code" will almost certainly be the next big crowd-pleaser. A walk through the exhibition is wonderfully stimulating for the senses, offers the opportunity for individual reflection, and connects to social trends and artistic approaches. Museum director Eva Kraus also believes that such a show is the right remedy for all the people working from home right now.

"I believe that we will have a new desire for staging, for real sensation, maybe even for a new glamour. After the crisis, we will all want to express an attitude toward life, to live something out with the help of fashion, even on the street," Kraus said in an interview. If this proves to be true, the director will have certainly been right on target when she discovered the exhibition in Japan and decided to bring it to Bonn. The exhibition was developed by the National Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto and the Kyoto Costume Institute.

Fashion aesthetics take on another dimension in dialogue with contemporary art

A total of 60 designers of current fashion are represented, from Giorgio Armani and Chanel, to Comme des Garçons and Issey Miyake, to Burberry and Louis Vuitton. It becomes especially interesting when fashion aesthetics are questioned in terms of their origins and meaning, and are given a further dimension in the dialogue with contemporary art. The connections become evident when one sees the large portraits of Cindy Sherman, in which she slips into different identities in each one. The same applies to the handbag series by Jürgen Teller and the "Photo Notes" by Hans Eijkelboom, who photographed similar outfits of passers-by for a series on shopping streets of this world.

The exhibition is arranged with twelve thematically structured sections, each of which explores questions about clothing and social phenomena. When did dress codes develop, and must a uniform always be equated with a lack of individuality? How were camouflage patterns and trench coats regularly used as design elements, from military origins to signs of political protest to purely fashionably calculated breaches of style? Another question is that of the brand and logo, which - discreetly concealed or as an all-over pattern - becomes an expression of distinctiveness and quality. Fashion's exploration of gender and identity is addressed as an important theme as well.

Of course, fashion also includes the expression of revolt, which creates its own dress code, whether as a biker jacket or punk fashion. At the end of the exhibition tour, the "Fashion Lab" is worth a visit. In this area, conceived by the Bundeskunsthalle to complement the exhibition, 13 German fashion designers are showcased along with their designs. Visitors can pose in front of a smart mirror - the virtual makeover allowing the visitor to see their image in haute couture.

Those who prefer analog dress up and photos can do so with life-size Paper Doll Dresses inspired by the spring 2017 collection of the fashion label Moschino.

Bundeskunsthalle, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4, through Sept. 12; Tues and Wed 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Thurs-Sun 10 a.m.-7 p.m., holidays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.; original catalog in Japanese and English with German-language insert 26 euros. Information about the opening of the exhibition can be found at www.bundeskunsthalle.de

(Orig. text: Gudrun von Schönbeck / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)