Sports / No Sports

Space: Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe
City: Hamburg
Year: 2016
Curation: Angelika Riley

Football coaches wear custom-made suits; sneakers and jogging pants are appropriate office attire. Stars walk the red carpet in shorts and Fidel Castro receives the pope in a track suit. Where just a few years ago firmly established dress codes prevailed, it seems that today “anything goes”. The exhibition sports/no sports at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) will explore the correlation between fashion and sportswear with a focus on social, formal and aesthetic contexts.

It will be the first comprehensive exhibition in Germany ever devoted to these two phenomena. With approximately 110 articles of clothing, models, sketches and looks, the MKG will shed light on the development of fashion, sportswear and changing body ideals as well as the influence of textile technology on clothing. The exhibition will retrace the changes sports has brought about in clothing forms and norms, recall the extinction of the corset and the triumphal advent of the jersey and women’s trousers, and investigate the increasing androgenisation of fashion. These developments have gone hand in hand with the perfection of the body from the bodice to the energetic athletic physique to body shaping. After the dress codes of the 18th and 19th century restricting the body movements (before sports) the liberalisation of fashion proceeds. The factual sportswear of the beginning of the 20th century (sports) is contrasted with the hybrid forms (sports?) in fashion design. The contemporary avant-garde (beyond sports) instead refuses any functionality and obtains inspiration from various sources.

On exhibition are more than 40 brands, designers and couturiers, among others Adidas, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Chanel, Christian Dior, Comme des Garçons, Gareth Pugh, Hussein Chalayan, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, Leon Emanuel Blanck, Maison Martin Margiela, Puma, Raf Simons, Speedo, Tom Ford, Triumph, Viktor & Rolf Atelier, Yohji Yamamoto, Yves Saint Laurent from the MKG’s extensive fashion collection and international loans.