Zeitgeist Becomes Form

German Fashion Photography 1945-1995

26 April 2008 - 27 July 2008

Take a stroll through more than 100 images celebrating 50 years of iconic world fashion, from Christian Dior in the 1940s to Issey Miyake in the 1990s. Zeitgeist Becomes Form includes unforgettable images by some of Germany’s most renowned photographers including Helmut Newton, Sybille Bergmann, Rico Puhlmann and Thomas Rusch.

These images truly capture the spirit of the times, and provide a fascinating insight into both the evolution of fashion, and simultaneous changes in society, codes of morality, the role of women and the hopes and ideals of people at the time.

Developed by ifa, the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, this exhibition covers the period from 1945 - 1995. An image of a Hepburn-esque woman modelling Christian Dior’s glamorous New Look post-WW2 on the banks of the Seine, sits alongside that of a stunning pair of 60s Op-art bathing caps symmetrically aligned with the Pyramids as a backdrop. A haunting self-portrait of a woman in the 70s seemingly washed up on the beach in beige underwear, contrasts with 'The Flying Negro’, a beautiful male nude photographed in Paris in the ‘80s against the backdrop of the early Aids epidemic.

Then there is the irreverent stare of supermodel Kristen McMenamy, photographed in London in the mid 90s. Here she poses topless, powerfully daring the viewer to challenge her, revealing an extraordinary shift in the way in which women behave, and their portrayal over a period of just fifty years.

Developed by ifa and toured by the Goethe Institut.

View the exhibition labels – click here

« Back to past exhibitions