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Ridicule! Fashion caricatured, 1600 to 1900

05.12.2003 to 15.02.2004

Kunstbibliothek

This exhibition in the Art Library gives a fascinating survey of the caricature of fashion in Europe over four centuries. Fashion - always changing, developing trends, exaggerating them and then reviling them, preying on both anxiety and vanity - has provided satirists with objects of mockery over the centuries. New styles were ridiculed as in bad taste (crinolines and upswept hair came in for this treatment), while the failure to keep up with fashion, through old-fashioned accessories, or provincial or foreign dress, could also be subjects for ribaldry.

Most of the 180 objects on show belong to the collection of the 'Lipperheideschen Kostümbibliothek'. The main focus of the exhibition are prints from Germany, France and England from the 16th to 19th centuries. In addition there are about 15 historical articles of clothing presented, among them magnificent Rococo dresses as well as a corset for women and for men.