The Bauhaus centenary excited growing curiosity about what they wore at the Bauhaus, yet there seems to be little consensus and much extrapolation on its fashions. One of the problems is that few original Bauhaus garments survive; most studies of Bauhaus fashion rely heavily on archival photographic sources or written accounts to examine the dress practices of the Bauhäusler/innen. Meanwhile collections often feature reproductions of textile designs ungrounded in academic research. Alongside States’ private collection of re-editions of Bauhaus textile masterpieces licensed by the Anni Albers & Gunta Stölzl foundation, the DELINEATE exhibition features an extensive collection of reproductions of historical Bauhaus dress and textile artefacts informed by the radical design and dress practices around the Weaving Workshop and Bauhaus Stage. At the heart of the exhibition of fashion, costume and woven works is States' hand-made collection of fashions modelled after sewing patterns from the renowned Bauhaus journal Die Neue Linie. The reproductions of these historical Bauhaus designs, which States' rediscovered doing comparative studies for her practice-based PhD at the Bauhaus University Weimar in the archives of Lipperheide Costume Library (Berlin, German) and the Commercial Pattern Archive (University of Rhode Island, RI, USA), draw on her practice-based research into vernacular craft practices and historical sewing methods. The dress collection is constructed from States' extensive collection of authentic interwar textile artefacts and appropriated 20th century Bauhaus textile design reproductions that delineate a circuitous history of appropriation and reproduction. The show also features artistic collaborations with international experts engaging in practice-based research into Bauhaus traditions of mask-making and weaving. Specializing in traditional Fastnacht wood-carving, German-American sculptor Jessica Twitchell showcases an edition of three iconic Oskar Schlemmer masks from from the Bauhaus Stage madelled with States' dress collection. A collaboration with Wilde Studios, a slow textiles atelier based in Stoke-on-Trent made up of the Bulgarian-English Wilde sisters will involve natural dyer Katrina dying silk and cotton fibres, woven by Nadine on a traditional treadle loom into uncut bands, to be assembled by States into an evening wrap from a Die Neue Linie pattern. The accompanying displays and artistic installations delineate the abstract compositions and spatial transformation of Die Neue Linie patterns and highlight how these blueprints of fashion have been excluded from the Bauhaus canon as anonymous “women’s work.” Celebrating how the concept of reproduction has shaped generations of makers bringing together arts and crafts, the show DELINEATE retraces a radical history of design reproduction that questions how authenticity is embodied in art and design collections.
Featuring Bauhaus textile, fashion & costume designs reproduced by
Wallace + Sewell
Collier & Campbell
Martin Hall Exhibition Space, Nov 4th-Dec 3rd, 2021
Private View Thurs, Nov 4th 5pm
funded by Arts Council England
Bauhaus University Kreativfonds
Image: Reproduction 1930s beach pajama by Selene States (2017) made with 'Savoy Pop' cotton by Collier & Campbell for Liberty of London, Oskar Schlemmer reproduction mask by Jessica Twitchell (2021), poster design 2xGoldstein.