If you have a tendency to stare at a fashion or design image for hours on end, I advise you to carry yourself to the ‘Visions & Fashion, Images of Fashion 1980 – 2010’ exhibition which is currently being held at the Lipperheide Costume Library at the Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.
Visions & Fashion presents ‘artistic images that offer a new and fascinating perspective on the history of fashion and style from 1980 to the present’. The exhibition is spread over two floors with one room focusing more on the original works of international photographers, illustrators, graphic artists and other independent visual artists. These artists included Peter Lindbergh, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, Tony Viramontes, Michel Comte, Eric Traoré, Lorenzo Mattotti, François Berthoud, Cem Bora, Gregor Hohenberg, Martin Mago, Carola Seppeler, François Cadière and Christin Losta.
On the other hand, the other room is a lot more editorial and billboard campaign based, showing classic editorial images from magazines such as iD and campaigns from brands like United Colours of Benetton. Personally, I got more or a visual kick from the former as the second room portrayed more imagery that I was already familiar with.
In fact, going round the first room gave me a bit of a headache in the end, as I was trying to absorb too much of, well everything. In fact, I finally began to understand the scene in ‘American Beauty’ where the ‘misunderstood weirdo’ wells up with tears in his eyes when he is trying to explain how sometimes, he ‘can’t take’ all the beauty in the world. Reason being, after a while, I really couldn’t ‘take’ all the detailing of the visual images I was trying to soak in- the amazing photographers I’d never heard of before, the shoot ideas some of the editorials were giving me, the shock of seeing Naomi Campbell when she looked like ‘Naomi Campbell’. Yes, all the Supers were not able to use their super powers (try as they might through Dr Botox) to evade the ravages of time, but out of all the Supers-as beautiful as Naomi Campbell looks now, I think that she has facially changed the most.
After I finished seeing both rooms with my ‘very hard to please’ friend (who shall remain nameless!), he complained that for an exhibition that was supposed to offer ‘visual interpretations of fashion in photography and drawings’ from 1980 to the present day- that the exhibition should have been curated better, so that more images could have been seen. He did have a point, after spending €8, I was rather hoping that a third room would magically appear to reveal more original works. I also wished that at the very least, more personal TV screens would be added so that I too could sit down with my headphones and enjoy the diverse forms of visual communication by watching the video clips, fashion blogs and websites. However all that being said, I definitely left the exhibition feeling inspired and with particular images branded in my memory, and at the end of the day, that was the point of the exhibition to use a designed image, so that ‘transient fashion’ could become a ‘lasting memory’.
The exhibition runs from June 30th to October 9th 2011.
My Fashion S/ash Life credits Suitesculturelles.wordpress.com for the images