As part of the special exhibition “Then and now”, the Meyenburg Fashion Museum is showing children’s fashion in the Palace Ballroom until the end of October, as part of a collaboration with the AMD Hamburg.

Two groups of designers from the fashion and design academy conducted a four-week project around the topic of children’s clothing. Working individually or in teams, the task was to select a historical model as a template and to pair it with a modern-day counterpart that was stylistically appropriate – hence the exhibition title “Then and now”. The exhibition thus juxtaposes fashion’s past and with its present.

Museum visitors can see, among other things, ruffled smocks for children in cream-colored muslin, and combinations of shirt, trousers, and sleeveless pullovers. Designer Andrea Perl has developed a quilted winter jacket in a similar colour, which thus forms the counterpart to a historical boy’s outfit.

The first group of designers worked with historical models from 1920 to 1975, which are on permanent display at the Schloss Meyenburg’s Fashion Museum. The second group searched for children’s clothing without being restricted to one historical period.

After finding photographs of the models, the designers prepared the basic blocks, then the template patterns, and made the first test cuts in calico. According to AMD lecturers Brigitte Platzer (organisation/pattern-cutting) and Uschi Weber (finishing), a central part of the process was the possibility of using modern-day techniques to simulate the prints, embroidery, and decoration of the original pieces .

The designers reworked the models using the so-called simulation technique. The historical examples were not copied directly. Rather, the patterns were produced going by appearance only. Embroidery and knitting techniques were also not reproduced faithfully, but rather simulated. For example, a Norwegian pattern was glued onto a boy’s pullover, and delicate cross-stitch embroidery was painted onto a white cotton dress with a gel pen.

For the mock-ups, children from a Hamburg day-care centre acted as models. The project was rounded out by a photo shoot and a small fashion show in the run-up to the exhibition. The exhibition at the Schloss Meyenburg Fashion Museum can be seen until 29 October.

Some of the original models can be seen in the Children’s Room next to the museum café. There, you can also find a large collection of models from the different decades of the twentieth century.

Photo: Meyenburg Fashion Museum