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The Legacy of the Bauhaus Webereiwerkstatt on Contemporary Fashion

Geometric precision, monochrome injected with primary colour, and a clear unity between form and function. Much of what establishes the well known aesthetic of Bauhaus design is as relevant and innovative today as it was almost a century ago. We are so used to seeing many of our interiors, wardrobes and everyday items echo the clutter-averse, streamlined and minimalistic style of Bauhaus, with the likes of CB2, Apple, Ikea and Muji quickly becoming established as the next generation of modernist design. In terms of clothing, Jason Wu, Art Director of Hugo Boss Womenswear has incorporated Bauhaus aesthetic in his designs since the Fall/Winter 2014 collection. Wu stated that Bauhaus is inscribed in the very DNA of the brand, and continues to be an ongoing inspiration behind his designs, combining the traditional and the innovative. Even the window displays for Boss’ recent Womenswear collection (Winter/Fall 2015) were inspired by the works of Bauhaus’ well known names – Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy and Josef Hartwig. Although Wu does acknowledge the influence of Bauhaus aesthetics generally when discussing the inspiration behind his clothing designs, no specific names are mentioned, but much of what appears on the runway mirrors the fabrics that were produced by the women of the Bauhaus Webereiwerkstatt (Weaving Workshop).

 

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Hugo Boss, Womenswear Winter/Fall 2015 Bauhaus inspiration
(image source: www.hugoboss.com)

 

The influence from the wall hangings and textiles produced by the likes of Gunta Stölzl and Anni Albers can be clearly seen in the recent Hugo Boss Womenswear collection. This is a fascinating opportunity to witness the timelessness and innovation in the designs produced by female Bauhaus artists and designers, and the effects that their work has had on contemporary fashion. Furthermore, it’s a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the female creatives of the Bauhaus, whom have so often been overshadowed by their male counterparts when discussing twentieth-century art and design.

 

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Gunta Stölzl, wall hanging or runner, 1923, linen, wool, viscose and cotton
(image source: www.rochester.edu)
Hugo Boss Womenswear Winter/Fall 2015 collection
(image source: www.hugoboss.com)

The comparison between the Winter/Fall 2015 collection and the work of Gunta Stölzl’s wall hangings show more than just aesthetic similarities. Stölzl’s weavings combined both natural and semi-synthetic materials, and she often encouraged experimentation with unorthodox materials in her teachings at the Webereiwerkstatt. As a result, Stölzl incorporated weaving, which was often regarded as a traditional, ‘female’ craft, with avant-garde experiments in abstraction. In almost a similar manner, Wu addressed in a recent interview how the latest collection and much of Hugo Boss’s style incorporated a juxtaposition of tradition and innovation, the natural and the industrial. Wu described how the very architecture of Hugo Boss’ headquarters in Metzingen, Germany, which had a profound influence on his work and reflect the very values of Bauhaus, has industrially-produced glass walls surrounded by forested hills.

 

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Hugo Boss Headquarters, Metzingen, Germany
(image source: www.hugoboss.com

 

The geometric patterns, abstract shapes and use of colour within the wall hangings by designers such as Anni Albers appear especially prominent within Boss’ latest collection. We hope you enjoy these images of Hugo Boss’ Winter/Fall 2015 collection and the original weavings of some of the most innovative and talented female designers of the Webereiwerkstatt.

 

HUGO BOSS Womenswear Winter/Fall 2015 collection
(image source: www.hugoboss.com)
Anni Albers, Study for Camino Real, 1967, gouache on graph paper
(image source: www.albersfoundation.org)
Marcel Breuer (frame) and Gunta Stölzl(cover), Chair with colourful woven seat, 1921
(image source: www.bauhaus-online.de)

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Anni Albers, Wall Hanging, 1924
(image source: www.studyblue.com)

 

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HUGO BOSS Womenswear Winter/Fall 2015 collection
(image source: www.hugoboss.com)

 

This post continues our mini series on Bauhaus Women. To read more, please click on the ‘bauhaus’ tag in the tag cloud on our Musings page sidebar.

Further Reading:

http://www.hugoboss.com/uk/boss/specials/women/bauhaus-design-inspiration/

Weltge, Sigrid W. Bauhaus Textiles. Women Artists and the Weaving Workshop, Thames and Hudson, 1993.