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 “Restaging Fashion“ project ( November 2020 to November 2023), funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at the UCLAB at University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, is dedicated to the cultural history of clothing, its appearance and symbolism. The visualisation of the collection's holdings brings together vestimentary sources in the digital realm and enables cross-source and multidisciplinary research on the objects.

The starting point is the painting collection of 600 works donated by the Berlin publishing couple Franz and Frieda von Lipperheide in 1899. It documents fashion, costume and dress from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century. The paintings are complemented by 1,000 prints and hand drawings from Lipperheide's costume library as well as text sources, such as archival documents on the history of the collection.

However, the often fragile historical textiles provide decisive information; they expand the pictorial and textual information with the objecthood and materiality itself. Using 3D scanning and photogrammetry, the detailed, three-dimensional reproduction of 15 historical clothing ensembles and accessories from the Germanisches Nationalmuseum was trialled.

The UCLAB (Urban Complexity Lab) of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, project initiator with many years of experience in the visualisation of cultural data, tested experimental methods of collection presentation by means of visualisations, which are used on the one hand as an aid to content exploration and on the other hand as a tool for interpretation.

In the “Restaging Fashion“ project, image and metadata were visualised and made available in an iterative and collaborative design process. The chosen form of collection presentation allows contextualisation, an introduction through narrative elements and free exploration of the holdings.

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