Uli Richter Revisited
On the occasion of Uli Richter’s 90th birthday, the Kunstgewerbemuseum presented some of the highlights of the Berlin fashion designer’s work. As one of the youngest major designers working in Berlin in the early 1950s, Uli Richter (born 28 December 2016 in Potsdam) played an important role in forging a ‘made in Berlin’ style. Over the more than 40 years in which he worked as a fashion designer, he succeeded in reinvigorating and consolidating Berlin’s reputation as an international centre of fashion.
In a space of more than 300 square metres, about 40 costumes were displayed alongside an extensive assortment of photographs, sketches, and archive materials from the collections of the Kunstbibliothek. The exhibition in the Kunstgewerbemuseum offered a picture of more than 70 years of fashion history, ranging from Richter’s first bridal gown, designed at the beginning of his career in 1959, to dresses and designs from his university projects to contemporary creations.
uli richter revisited
Exhibition poster, 02.12.2016-23.04.2017
How groundbreaking is Uli Richter’s style today? For the exhibition at the Kunstgewerbemuseum, nine Berlin fashion designers have been inspired by his work and have designed new models in their own design language.
uli richter revisited
Contemporary designs by William Fan, Steinrohner, Barre Noir, Firkant, Philomena Zanetti, Michael Sontag, Sample-CM, Brachmann and Nobi Talai.
Meet the Designers
Whilst Uli Richter explored new paths in the German fashion cosmos of the middle of the last century, these fashion designers show how large the shaping potential of the current fashion design scene in Berlin is. The designers found inspiration in the design, cut, material or in the colourfulness of the Uli Richter models, as well as in the type of woman of a supposed lost fashion era or in the embroidery of a rose dress of 1957. In an interview, Michael Sontag, Inna Stein and Caroline Rohner from Steinrohner, and Julia Leifert from Philomena Zanetti talk about Berlin, fashion and their work.
The two graduates of the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee, Inna Stein and Caroline Rohner, move between fashion and art with their avant-garde creations. From the beginning of their collaborative work they have been concerned with textiles as a creative basis and combine innovative production processes with traditional knitting and needlework techniques.
Pink-coloured velvet coat and evening gown embroidered
Uli Richter, 1957
Their design for the exhibition was inspired by this pearl embroidered evening gown. Impressed by the elaborate emroidery and the timeless yet modern combination of pink and green they wanted to recreate the moments of lustre which the original dress evokes.
Braided coat with printed gown with transferprint and screen printing with reflection glass beads
Material: silk organza, polyester
For Michael Sontag, graduate of the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee, the creative process is intuitive and flowing. In the course of his design process he drapes the fabric on a dressmaker’s dummy and sews several models in coarse cotton before the completion of the final pattern. Being a Berlin designer is what binds him to Uli Richter.
Wide-cut mohair coat
Uli Richter, 1958
Sontag found inspiration in the wide-cut mohair coat which he interpreted in a contemporary way. He especially liked the generosity of the design because that also ties in with his work.
Coat with overcut sleeves
Michael Sontag, 2016
Interview with the designer Michael Sontag (2016) by Michael SontagKunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Julia Leifert designs sustainable clothing in the high-end area with her label. The graduate fashion and design manager not only places great emphasis on the high quality of the material, but also on its fair and transparent production conditions.
Evening dress with embroidered bolero
Uli Richter, 1974
Inspired by the elegance of the evening dress, she transferred the cut into a modern trouser suit. With the suit from new wool and a corsage from paper as a decelerated alternative to Fast Fashion, she shows that a simple design with a casual-urban cut and fair production are not mutually exclusive.
Trouser suit with corsage
Philomena Zanetti, 2016
Material: wool, paper
Interview with the designer Julia Leifert - Philomena Zanetti (2016) by Julia LeifertKunstgewerbemuseum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Text: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Katrin Lindemann
Concept / Editing / Realisation: Merle Walter
Translation: Übersetzungsbüro Nastula
© Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz www.smb.museum