Day of the Lord—and Lady´s Fashions
On a recent Sunday students at the Academy of the Arts staged a fashion show called "Day of the Lord—and Lady´s Fashions" at the classicistic Villa Ichon in Bremen. The young designers went for a self-deprecating, yet respectful approach in exploring the contradiction between their respectable, bourgeois location and their unconventional and quirky outfits.
As they turned the Villa into a set for tableaux vivants (living images) created by their models, the students played on the rituals and well known highs and lows of any given Sunday. Referencing the hazy stage between dreaming and awakening, dim light created a sinister atmosphere for the designs presented on the ground floor. As visitors progressed upwards, the scene became brighter and brighter.
On the first floor the table was prepared for a different kind of breakfast. In place of the customary food items, visitors partook of a feast for their eyes and ears on a stage filled with a group of silent people looking at them, wearing stunning designs while electronic music played along. Closeby a group of eager athletes started their day by creating a light hearted mood as they twisted their limbs into funky yoga positions while energetic exercise music thumbed along. They showed off tops, shorts and leggings in colorful prints that could be worn outside a fitness studio.
In the next room models reminded us of congregants with their stern outfits and serious faces, while worn looking characters hung out on the stairwell leading up to the second floor and in the grand salon. These folks obviously hadn´t found their way home from last night´s revelry. They even found a dj to entertain them while wearing a morning frock. And there was an unexpected weather box in the hallway, containing a revolving platform occupied by two gentlemen in girdles. These garments did a nice job exposing their muscley cleavages, demolishing gender stereotypes along the way.
Yet the visitors did not necessarily stick to the preordained route through these happening. They, too, made a point of breaking the rules in their felt slippers, as they scuffled back and forth across the venerable parquet floor. The audience found their own course and their own speed to take the models under close observation. But they also just might have gotten lost in their individual meditations on the rituals of this peculiar Sunday that had lost it´s usual holiness.
At the end, this event featuring 85 models recruited among the friends of our students and designs by 18 of them send the clear message that fashion might be an expression of individuality—but it can only exist as an collective effort. Our community of collaborators tackled conventions while facilitating joyful encounters among the participants. This is the material of which fashion is made.