FASHION?! - In German Sign Language

The Elements of Style

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: IntroductionLandesmuseum Württemberg

Fashion exhibition: entranceLandesmuseum Württemberg

Am I Fashion?

How is fashion experienced? What do we recognize as fashion? How is it designed and how does it affect the manner in which it is communicated? What responsibilities do we bear as consumers?

The exhibition "Fashion?! The Elements of Style" concerns itself with the ever-changing fashion system since the 1950s.

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: Statement ShirtsLandesmuseum Württemberg

"Eunify"-Shirt (2020) by Souvenir OfficialLandesmuseum Württemberg

Pro-European Union

The Berlin fashion label Souvenir Official designed this T-Shirt as a reaction to the 2016 British EU membership referendum. It displays the flag of the European Union with one star missing. The fashion company's intent was to raise awareness for the immanent turbulence that would grip the EU. The single star can be seen on the back of the T-Shirt where it symbolizes hope, and combined with a EU-hotline number, it functions as an invitation to act.

T-Shirt "DHL" (2018) by Demna Gvasali for VetementsLandesmuseum Württemberg

  Style or Uniform

This seemingly ordinary top from a DHL uniform is deceptive. It is actually a T-shirt from the design collective Vetements. Translated from the French, Vetements means clothing.  It is the aim of this enterprise to imbue everyday clothing with new meaning. With this "DHL" shirt they make reference to the fashion industry and its worldwide capitalist circulation of goods.

Fashion exhibition: Room "From idea to production"Landesmuseum Württemberg

From Idea to Production

The journey from the initial idea to the manufactured garment is a complicated undertaking. Inspiration and vision blend and merge together in a highly creative process.

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: From Idea to the sketchLandesmuseum Württemberg

A New Look for the Woman of the World

A classic from Christian Dior: This sketch, from the archives of Paris-based Dior Héritage, show how keenly the designer could envisage the finished dress already in this preliminary sketch.

Fashion sketch of the Two-piece suit "Escapade", Christian Dior for Christian Dior, 1951, Original Source: Dior Héritage Collection, Paris
Two-piece suit "Escapade", Christian Dior for Christian Dior, 1950's, From the collection of: Landesmuseum Württemberg
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Fashion exhibition: Room "Vision and Form"Landesmuseum Württemberg

Vision and Form

The appearance that a fashion item takes on, the material that it is made from, and the silhouette that it forms – these elements are dependent on the ideas and visions of the designer. They let themselves be inspired by certain themes, forms and colours.

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: Vision and Form by Monokini: Rudi GernreichOriginal Source: Monokini: Modemuseum Hasselt

Silkdress from the fashion line „Trapéze“ (1958) by Yves Saint Laurent for Christian DiorOriginal Source: Modesammlung Bräu, Stuttgart

Straight Lines

When Christian Dior died unexpected in 1957, the press insisted that the end of the fashion house was all but sealed. The first collection from his successor Yves Saint Laurent was awaited with a combination of tension and skepticism. With his trapezoidal line, which relied on geometry and formal rigor, he took different paths than his predecessor. He became a star overnight and was known as the “savior of French fashion”.

Cocktail dress with petticoat (ca. 1955) by Marie-Luise CarvenLandesmuseum Württemberg

A Sea of Flowers

Carven ranked among the most important fashion houses of the post-war era. The designer Marie-Luise Carven placed an emphasis on creating youthful and carefree fashion. At the same time she also designed elegant pieces such as this petticoat dress. This strapless cocktail dress of white organza is embroidered with artificial silk daisies.

Especially artful is the lime green pleated decorations around the waist.

Fashion exhibition: Fashion photographyLandesmuseum Württemberg

Fashion Photography

Visual media are some of fashion’s most important multipliers. Fashion photography is employed primarily in a commercial context for magazines and advertisements. Boundaries often blur between artistic endeavour and creative fashion.

Fashion exhibition: Fashion photographyLandesmuseum Württemberg

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: Fashion photographyLandesmuseum Württemberg

Fashion exhibition: Magazine cover wallLandesmuseum Württemberg

Fashion Magazines

Fashion magazines showcase the latest trends, and play an important role in the mediation of fashion.

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: Fashion magazinesLandesmuseum Württemberg

Jardin des Modes, october 1958 (1958)Landesmuseum Württemberg

Jardin des Modes

The French fashion magazine Jardin des Modes was founded in the 1950s. With the breakthrough of prêt-à-porter fashion, it became an advocate for ready-to-wear clothing. The three mannequins on the cover make this clear: with their identical poses and dresses with a similar cut they exemplify the standardization of body measurements introduced by the concept of standardized sizes.

Sibylle, 2/1974 (1974)Landesmuseum Württemberg


Despite limited consumer choice in the GDR - fashion options were scarce as well- the establishment of the magazine Sibylle introduced a publication with aesthetic standards. It successfully combined fashion photos and everyday photographic observations. The fashion trends from Paris were not ignored and regularly featured in the “Vogue of the East”.

i-D, June/July 2009 (2009)Landesmuseum Württemberg


The British fashion magazine i-D appeared for the first time in 1980 and still contextualizes fashion in relation to music, youth culture and lifestyle. Street fashion is considered a source of inspiration for fashion. The magazine refuses to adopt an elitist understanding of fashion like that of Vogue. It depicts the world of young people of all genders. Its increasing success has allowed it to draw nearer to the taste of the masses.

Fashion exhibition: Room "Style Icons"Landesmuseum Württemberg

Role Models and Style Icons

In order to disseminate itself, fashion requires people, places and media.

Once it was the aristocracy whose style was imitated, but since the middle of the 20th century, this role has been overtaken by personalities from sports, politics, art and culture, as well as international influencers.

Fashion role models and style icons also actively shape how we see our own bodies.

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: IdolsOriginal Source: Velvet robe of Empress Elisabeth: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Summer dress (2018)Landesmuseum Württemberg

The Kate Effect

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and her choice of clothing consistently draw the attention of the media.

The Duchess wore this light blue and white striped summer dress from the clothing chain Zara at a polo match in 2018. A few days later, the dress was sold out across Europe.

Fashion exhibition: Room "Changes in Meaning"Landesmuseum Württemberg

Changes in Meaning

A sneaker is not just a sneaker! You too have probably noticed that we play different roles in different items of clothing.

However, items of clothing also change their meaning depending on who wears them, when, and in what context.

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: Fashion ConsumptionLandesmuseum Württemberg

Swabian Headscarf (1920's)Landesmuseum Württemberg

  Protection from Sun and Dust

Up until the middle of the 20th century, headscarves were seen more often in the public sphere. A headscarf provided several functions: it was worn in the workplace; it served as a stylish accessory; it provided protection from the sun, wind and weather; it was a popular head covering for women of any age, regardless of religious affiliation. This headscarf was worn by a Swabian farmer, who wore it while she worked in the fields.

Headscarf "Feminist" (2017) by Nourka Inc.Landesmuseum Württemberg

Headwear for confident Feminists

In 2007, the Canadian Nour Kaiss established the label Nourka with the goal of designing high-quality fashion for Muslim women. This headscarf, printed with a repeating pattern of Venus symbols and a fist, can be read as feminist. This piece plays with the apparent contradictions inherent in the headscarf debate that flares up again and again, where feminist attitudes and the headscarf clash.

FASHION Exhibition, in German Sign language: Fashion ConsumptionLandesmuseum Württemberg

Fashion exhibition: Room "FASHION?!"Landesmuseum Württemberg

No matter what kind of fashion is the best fit for you – you will certainly have noticed that fashion is never clear; it means something different to everyone, and it is always changing.

It has been our pleasure to take you on a journey through the world of fashion. Perhaps today has changed the way you look at fashion a little.

Credits: Story

Editorial Work / Realisation: Anna Gnyp

Production of Sign Language Videos:
Concept and Sign Language:
Museum Signers Birgit Fehn and Martina Odorfer, Munich

Concept and Project Coordinator
Lilian Lemmerhofer, Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart
Helen Wollstein Gouba, Gehörlosenverband München und Umland e.V., München

Video production:
Sevencity GmbH. Stuttgart

GL-S GmbH spectrum11, Munich

Sign language icon:

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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