7 Women – 200 Years of Fashion

Period of time
25.2.22 – 28.8.22
Teaser text

Our wardrobe is among our most personal possessions. Nothing is closer to our bodies. Alongside its purely practical function, clothing is also a nuanced means of communication and self-expression. The exhibition "Dressed. 7 Women – 200 Years of Fashion" presents seven fashion-conscious women and their wardrobes, ranging from the nineteenth century to the present day. The spotlight is on the personalities and biographies of the wearers, who reveal themselves to be both performers and consumers of fashion. Whether haute couture, daywear, protest gear or avant-garde trends – what they choose to wear is every bit as diverse as their lifestyles. Their wardrobes tell of the status-consciousness of high-society wives, of an existence marked by illness, of “power dressing” for projecting confidence in the executive suite, of Hamburg’s punk scene, and of the aesthetics of resistive aesthetics embraced by an art and design collector.

All the apparel ensembles are from the collection of the MK&G. They can all be assigned to a specific person. The selection of the protagonists was not based on status or celebrity, but rather represents the greatest possible diversity of female lifestyles and their fashionable expression. The ensembles were worn by Elise Fränckel (1807-1898), Edith von Maltzan Freifrau zu Wartenberg und Penzlin (1886-1976), Erika Holst (1917-1946), Elke Dröscher (* 1941), Ines Ortner (* 1968), Angelica Blechschmidt (1942-2018) and Anne Lühn (* 1944).

In a digital format, we share personal fashion stories. In alternating film contributions, individuals and groups present themselves who have dealt with the interplay between clothing and self-perception, identity and fashion codes, memory and their own understanding of fashion. The project "Fresh Fashion" by Lara Dahlmann and Lena Jürgensen is aimed at young people with challenging life experiences from the environment of the social fashion label "vagabunt.hamburg". Andrzej Steinbach's video contribution "Zwei, drei Gedanken zur Signalkleidung" (Two or three thoughts on signal clothing) deals with the cultural function of signal-coloured work clothes, and Laura Haddad is dedicated to diversity in fashion and fashion bodies as sites of social negotiation.

The exhibition is made possible by funds from the Exhibition Fund of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Hubertus Wald Foundation and the Ernst von Siemens Art Foundation.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Hirmer Publishers, with a photographic concept and photographs by Anne Schönharting (Ostkreuz - Agentur der Fotografen).



Your favourite piece

If you had to save one piece of clothing for eternity, what would it be? And why? Become part of the exhibition: Send us a photo of your piece of clothing and tell us in max. 250 characters what is special about it for you. Tell us your name, abbreviation or nickname and then your favourite piece and the story behind it will be shown on a screen in the exhibition. Gender, age and type of garment/accessory are irrelevant, everything and everyone is welcome! Please use the email address dressed@mkg-hamburg.de. We are looking forward to your submissions!

Exhibition Catalogue

Ein schwarzes, durchsichtiges Kleid auf einem Kleiderständer.

Dressed. 7 Women – 200 Years of Fashion

Published by Hirmer Verlag, edited by Tulga Beyerle and Angelika Riley, 2022, ISBN: 978-3-7774-3909-9, Text: German (with two English Essays), 246 pages, over 500 colour illustrations, photographic concept and photography: Anne Schönharting (Ostkreuz - Agentur der Fotografen), 23,5 x 29 cm, gebunden, 34,90 Euro.

Available at the bookstore Buchhandlung Walther König.