A photographer from Berlin brings a the traditional costumes of rural Germany into the context of coutureThey have lost their place in daily life and yet, they still exist: the regional costumes of Germany. Once lovingly stitched by hand to be worn on festive occasions, they are true historical relics: their shapes and metallic ornaments carry within them history from the Renaissance and Baroque to Biedermeier, while their embroideries tell of ancient pagan rites or the emancipation of farmers from the aristocracy.
For many months, the young Berlin photographer Gregor Hohenberg travelled the German countryside with his camera, from west to east, from Bavaria to the islands of the North Sea. Everywhere he went, he met enthusiasts, often in the local Trachtenverein (regional costume association), who carefully preserve these clothes and accessories, keeping them in pristine condition. Because they view them as what they truly are: invaluable cultural artifacts whose colorful splendor reminds one of Spain, Mexico, or even Asia—a couture of the people in which traditional craft techniques have survived.
Many of the more than 118 portraits and stylized snapshots recall old master paintings. Photographed on amateur models of all age groups, whom Hohenberg met locally and asked for their participation in his project, the costumes get a new twist in this context: these pictures show people of today in clothes that tell their own history. Their pride and joy in them is palpable.
This book is for everyone working in fashion who wants to discover its roots—it’s not by chance that the inspiration for Coco Chanels famous braided jacket came from an Austrian or Bavarian loden Janker—and it will fascinate esthetes all over the world, from a Japanese style blogger to a New York costume historian. On its pages, they will discover a type of dress of great dignity, natural extravagance and stylized playfulness.
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