From a pop culture perspective, the jewel in the crown in the current display in the Kunstgewerbemuseum's new Fashion Gallery is the legendary H&M wedding dress designed by Viktor & Rolf. It is the finale and climax of almost all major fashion shows in Paris, Milan, and New York. So why shouldn't it also be so here, in the newly opened Fashion Gallery?
Just days before the opening weekend of 22/23 November, the Museum managed to secure an extraordinary pop-culture masterpiece for its collection: a 2006 wedding dress, designed by the Amsterdam fashion house Viktor & Rolf for the Swedish fashion retailer H&M. A provocation? Definitely. But is it art? Does such a dress belong in a museum? Director Sabine Thümmler is unequivocal: yes, of course it does! The presence of Viktor & Rolf's wedding dress neatly concludes the museum's foray into the history of extravagant fashion and the avant-garde.
Whereas before, specially crafted designer pieces were the reserve of an exclusive few, they are now attainable for the masses. Viktor & Rolf's creation sparked a high-street stampede. Their wedding dress sold out within an hour in all outlets worldwide. The decisive factor here was no longer the wherewithal to afford the object, but instead the nerves, strength, and physical endurance to overcome other shoppers. We now live in an age in which artistic creation occurs on the mass market.
The Fashion Gallery opened to visitors on Saturday, 22 November 2014, at the Staatliche Museen's Kunstgewerbemuseum.