War and Clothing. Fashion illustration at the time of the First World War
The political upheavals of the period between 1914 and 1919 that shook the world and changed the course of history also left their mark on the silhouette of women's clothing and established the fashion industry as an increasingly important sector of the national economies of the Western world. Overshadowed by Art Nouveau and the so-called Golden or Roaring Twenties and therefore all too often overlooked by fashion historians, the clothes designed during the Great War are distinguished by a surprising vitality and modernity. Many details that had been introduced during the war years as practical innovations - the markedly shorter skirts and dresses, simple sportswear-inspired daywear, new materials such as wool and silk jersey or the penchant for black as a fashion colour - were retained and developed further after 1919.
The exhibition presents fashion illustrations and photographs from the fashion capitals of Paris, Berlin and Vienna. Among the exhibits are the exquisitely designed magazines Gazette du Bon Ton and Der Kleiderkasten as well as the Parisian fashion plate portfolios Modes et Manières d'Aujourd'hui with illustrations by George Lepape and André Marty and La Mode par Fried. The rare prints from the Mode Wien 1914/15 portfolio, published in cooperation with the Wiener Werkstätte, exemplify the characteristic expressive style of Vienna, while original drawings by Annie Offterdinger illustrate the sophisticated designs of the Berlin fashion house Alfred-Marie.
Fashion plates of the period of the First World War are marked by the influence of contemporary avant-garde trends in art such as Cubism, Fauvism and Expressionism. The selection of some 200 items from the rich holdings of the Fashion Image Collection of the Lipperheide Costume Library invites visitors to rediscover the astonishingly modern pictorial language of wartime fashion illustrations.
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