Sports/No Sports

2 Sep 2016 – 26 Feb 2017

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Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg

Hamburg, Germany

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Football coaches wear custom-made suits; sneakers and jogging pants are appropriate office attire. Stars walk the red carpet in shorts and Fidel Castro receives the pope in a track suit. Where just a few years ago firmly established dress codes prevailed, it seems that today “anything goes”.


 The exhibition sports/no sports at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) will explore the correlation between fashion and sportswear with a focus on social, formal and aesthetic contexts. It will be the first comprehensive exhibition in Germany ever devoted to these two phenomena, both of which serve the integration as well as the individualization of the human being in society and directly mirror societal structures. With approximately 150 articles of clothing, prints, posters, photographs and films, it will shed light on the development of fashion, sportswear and changing body ideals as well as the influence of textile technology on clothing. The exhibition will retrace the changes sports has brought about in clothing forms and norms, recall the extinction of the corset and the triumphal advent of the jersey and trousers, and investigate the increasing androgenisation of fashion. These developments have gone hand in hand with the perfection of the body from the bodice to the energetic athletic physique to body shaping. After the dress codes of the 18th and 19th century restricting the body movements (before sports) the liberalisation of fashion proceeds. The exhibition contrasts the factual sportswear of the beginning of the 20th century (sports) with the hybrid forms (sports?) in fashion design. The contemporary avant-garde (no sports) instead refuses any functionality and obtains inspiration from various sources. The show will draw on the MKG's extensive fashion holdings, supplemented with loans from Germany and abroad


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