Sunday, April 25, 2010

Clothes in Cinema: Comrade Couture

1980s East Germany is generally not remembered for its haute couture. But model-cum-director Marco Wilms remembers differently. His documentary Comrade Couture (A Dream in Strawberry Foil), reflects on the outrageous and avant-garde fashion scene that he and his friends participated in during their 20s.

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In East Germany, there were two main groups--Allerleirauh (All Kinds of Fur) and Chic, Charmant und Dauerhaft (Stylish, Charming, and Enduring). Both groups would put on elaborate underground fashion performances, featuring outfits made of strawberry foil (as seen above), shower curtains, leather, and burlap. Members of this community often faced trouble from the Stasi, for being perceived as threatening and anti-Communist.

The film offers an fascinating glance into an outrageous, hilarious, and altogether stylish subculture. It also serves as a commentary on aging and remaining interested in the fashion industry as a generation of models, designers, and artists enters its 40s. Comrade Couture is being screened at MOMA this month, as part of the museum's "Kino 2010!: New Films from Germany" festival. For a trailer, see below.



Anonymous said...

People who dressed like THAT were viewed as threatening? No wonder we won...


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