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Saxon Folk Costumes, HipHop and Pinstripes

An exhibition by the Museum of Saxon Folk Art and Puppet Theatre Collection
(Museum für Sächsische Volkskunst mit Puppentheatersammlung)
16 June 2012 to 4 November 2012

The Große Trachtenfest (the Great Folk Costume Celebration) in Dresden is said to be the last appearance of original costumes in the Kingdom of Saxony in 1896. Although in those days it were primarily the grandparents’ costumes that were worn, the celebration gives rise to take a closer look back in history and to risk a glance forward to evaluate our own clothing.

When is a costume considered to be one? Costumes from the town of Altenburg or the region Vogtland tell of a dress code, which precisely expresses the social status of the wearer in the rural community. How differentiated and detailed the dress code could have been is still shown by the costume regulations of the Sorbs. They state meticulously who is allowed to wear what and how at certain occasions.

The one, who believes, that in our time defined by freedom and self-determination these rules are outdated, is mistaken. A look at hip-hop, gothic, punk or rock culture reveals similar rules, prohibitions and insider codes. Is it necessity or desire, compulsion or play that is being celebrated in stridently colours or dimly dark in front of our eyes? In any case, it is extremely creative. However, why does every sport needs its own dress? Why are there hiking clothes, city shirts, knitted jumpers and pinstripes? Many questions need to be answered. Holger John curated the exhibition artistically.