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The Berlin Central and Regional Library has hosted a series of theme rooms revolving around different topics relevant to the city. Each thematic collection was curated by a local individual, group or initiative, using books, magazines and audiovisual media from the existing media in the library while adding new titles. The room was located in a separate area in the Amerika-Gedenk-Bibliothek and aimed to make topics more accessible while highlighting them from various angles and showcasing their complexity. They served as an entry point to further research in the library's main collection. The last theme room in the series, 'Themenraum Mode' [Fashion Theme Room], was scheduled around the debate if the library, in need of a new building, should move into the one occupied by Galeries Lafayette, whose lease is ending at the end of 2024. Will research and debate soon replace fashion consumption in new headquarters on Friedrichstraße?

The Fashion Theme room aimed to highlight the field of fashion with all its tensions and complexity. As a playful medium, it generates artistic dream worlds that allow us to rewrite our own narrative. We try on different roles, at times nostalgic, at others future-oriented or experimental. Fashion is an amplifier and a disguise, individual freedom and conformity. It is used for distinction, summons the stories of the past or embodies a staged marketing strategy. Behing the visible staging and the societal phenomenon of fashion lies a global system. Its aesthetic and social criteria are continuously being renegotiated.
Demands for social and ecological sustainability are faced by political and economical dependencies of the production locations. Which colonial power dynamics continue to this day? Which crafts do we want to preserve? What value do we attribute to the clothing that accompanies us every day? The theme room was an invitation to take a critical look at the complex connections in the global fashion system, explore it from different perspectives and experience one's own clothing in new ways.

31.10.2023 - 04.02.2024
Blücherplatz 1
10961 Berlin

Focus on:
Fashion and Society
Fashion and Crafts
Fashion and Myth
Fashion, Capital and Politics
Understanding and Making Fashion: youth media

Themenraum Mode [Fashion Theme Room] Curation, 2023/2024

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Curation of the 'Themenraum Mode' [Fashion Theme Room] at Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin [Berlin Central and Regional Library], Germany's largest public library.

Photography by Maria Aßmann and Aïcha Abbadi.

Part of the 'Themenraum' series. Project team: Maria Aßmann, Jolina Haddad, Marina Bitsch, Lea-Marie Fitzel, Mirko Heinemann, Jana Müller, Thanh Trà Pham, Kemi Quandt, Gabriele Winkelmann.