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Fashion and Mortality

13 March to 7 June 2015

In the 1980s new content and a revolutionary new aesthetic made their first appearance in the world of Western fashion. Features such as the search for authenticity, melancholy as a pervasive attitude, and bold formal experiments had been exclusively reserved to the fine arts until then. Now they were taken up by fashion. Martin Margiela, Rei Kawakubo and other outstanding designers subjected the concept of beauty in fashion to a radical makeover, where deformation and wear and tear become exciting stylistic devices. The torn jeans that are a staple of mainstream fashion these days first saw the light of day in designs by Maison Martin Margiela and Comme des Garçons. Fashion becomes a mirror in which we come face to face with our own mortality. It emphasizes the traces of time, praises transience and flirts with death.

A great number of exhibits on loan from international museums and studios substantiate moments between the 1980s and today, in which fashion and the art inspired each other. The exhibition celebrates beauty and the abyss, poetical moments and black humour. It presents fashion designers together with exponents of the visual arts, High Fashion and Street Fashion, photographs, videos, sculptures and installations. The majority of exhibits has never before been seen in Austria.  

Curator: Ursula Guttmann


Apparatus 22 | Cloed Priscilla Baumgartner | Alexander Blank | Bless | Célio Braga | Beatrice Brovia | Úna Burke | COOP HIMMELB(L)AU | Cooper & Gorfer | Corinne Day | A K Dolven | 
Fantich & Young | franzthomaspeter | Jean Paul Gaultier | Bob Goedewaagen | Meg Grant / Anja Hertenberger | Luise Gypser | Yoshiki Hishinuma | Joanna Hogg | Barbara í Gongini | Robert Jelinek / Sabotage | Birgit Jürgenssen | Rei Kawakubo / Comme des Garçons | Kora Keller | SHOWstudio/Nick Knight | Kobakant | Manon Kündig | Kirstin Lamb | Maskull Lasserre | Delaine Le Bas | Martin Margiela / Maison Martin Margiela | Märta Mattsson | Alexander McQueen | Issey Miyake | NOKI (aka Dr NOKI) | Micha Payer + Martin Gabriel | Michael Petri | Carol Christian Poell | Q Hisashi Shibata | Ute Rakob | Louise Richardson | Daniele Tamagni | Juergen Teller | Ivonne Thein | Katja Then | Walter Van Beirendonck | Imme van der Haak | Iris van Herpen | Viktor&Rolf | Käthe Wenzel | Bernhard Willhelm | Heimo Zobernig

Supported by

Link auf RLB OÖ Website (neues Fenster)


The exhibition is accompanied by the publication LOVE & LOSS. Edited in Verlag für moderne Kunst. With texts by Ursula Guttmann, Thomas Macho, Stella Rollig and Barbara Vinken as well as two interviews with Cooper & Gorfer and between Nick Knight/SHOWstudio and Kristen McMenamy.
160 pages, price: € 22

Buy online at the LENTOS Shop
(Order transaction in German only)


Thursday, 12 March 2015, 7 pm

(together with the exhibition Latifa Echakhch)

Guided tours

    Every Sunday, 4 pm
    Duration 1 hour, costs € 3, exclusive admission, German only
    in English and Turkish: Saturday, 4 April and 2 May, at 4 pm
    in English, Czech and Turkish: Saturday, 6 June, at 4 pm
    Duration 30 Min, € 2 plus admission fee
    Saturday, 4 April, 4 pm
    with sign language interpreter
    Every 1st Saturday in a month at 4 pm
    Admission and guided tour free for deafs

Exhibition booklet

A free exhibition booklet with information on the exhibits is available in German and English language.

background image:

Foto: © maschekS.