Restaging Fashion

Working with vestimentary sources, visualisation methods are being tested to digitally juxtapose two and three-dimensional artefacts. The immateriality of digital imagery makes it possible, for example, to present research materials side by side, on equal footing, particularly for purposes of analysis and interpretation.

The project Restaging Fashion focuses on clothing’s cultural history, appearance and symbolism. It aims to digitally juxtapose vestimentary sources in order to cross-reference sources and conduct multidisciplinary research of the objects. The starting point is a collection of paintings, which the Berlin publishers Franz and Frieda von Lipperheide gave to the Kunstbibliothek (Art Library) in 1899.

The collection documents fashion, period dress and traditional garments from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century. Its paintings are supplemented by prints and drawings from the Lipperheide Costume Library and historical documents such as sumptuary laws. The often fragile historical textiles also provide essential information, augmenting visual and textual information with their objectness and materiality. The project intends to test the use of 3D scanning procedures to create detailed, three-dimensional renderings of the historical garments, in order to digitally juxtapose previously unpublished holdings from the Lipperheide Costume Library (Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz [Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation]) with textile originals from the Textiles, Clothing and Jewellery collection of the Germanisches National Museum (Nuremberg).

These project outcomes are being successively deployed and made accessible using innovative research tools that employ visualisation as a method of acquiring knowledge. To that end, the Urban Complexity Lab (UCLAB) of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, the project initiator with numerous years of experience in the visualisation of cultural data, is testing experimental methods of presentation by means of visualisation, which is used both as an aid for cataloguing content and as a tool for interpretation.

Research team: Prof. Dr Marian Dörk, Sabine de Günther, Linda Freyberg, Giacomo Nanni
Cooperation partners: Urban Complexity Lab (UCLAB) of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam; Kunstbibliothek – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz; Germanisches Nationalmuseum (Nuremberg)
Funded by: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) / eHeritage
Duration: December 2020 to November 2023
Project website: Restaging Fashion