In the 1980s the themes of decline and death introduced new content and a revolutionary aesthetic into the world of fashion. Fashion morphs into a mirror that puts us face to face with our own mortality. As a discourse diagonally opposed to that of nip and tuck, fashion emphasizes the passing of time, shows itself in love with transience and flirts with death.
Identification with “life as it really is”, melancholy as an attitude and bold formal experiments used to be the preserve of art until then. Now they have been appropriated by art. Clothes made of human hair and black feathers have made it to the catwalk; tattered clothing is suddenly fashionable and a death’s head a trendy accessory.
The exhibition celebrates beauty and pain, poetical moments and dark humour. It presents fashion designers side by side with artists, haute couture and street fashion, photographs, videos, sculptures and installations. It aims to be inspirational, moving and contradictory, while at the same time weaving a thematically tight net.
Apparatus 22 | Cloed Priscilla Baumgartner | Alexander Blank | Bless | Célio Braga | Beatrice Brovia | COOP HIMMELB(L)AU | Cooper & Gorfer | Corinne Day | A K Dolven | Fantich & Young | franzthomaspeter | Jean Paul Gaultier | Bob Goedewaagen | Meg Grant / Anja Hertenberger | Luise Gypser | Yoshiki Hishinuma | Joanna Hogg | Barbara í Gongini | Robert Jelinek / Sabotage | Birgit Jürgenssen | Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons | Kora Keller | Nick Knight | Kobakant | Manon Kündig | Kirstin Lamb | Maskull Lasserre | Delaine Le Bas | Martin Margiela / Maison Martin Margiela | Märta Mattsson | Alexander McQueen | Issey Miyake | NOKI (aka Dr NOKI) | Micha Payer + Martin Gabriel | Michael Petri | Carol Christian Poell | Q Hisashi Shibata | Louise Richardson | Daniele Tamagni | Juergen Teller | Ivonne Thein | Katja Then | Walter Van Beirendonck | Imme van der Haak | Iris van Herpen | Viktor&Rolf | Käthe Wenzel | Bernhard Willhelm | Heimo Zobernig