Probably in order to protect against environmental influences, but also perhaps for magical rituals, humans started to wear clothes. Clothing has remained a pure human particularity as well as a transmitter of individual, collective and social codes.

At the intersection of design, commerce, art and Zeitgeist the seminar In Defense Of Style deals with the socio-cultural phenomenon of fashion as non-verbal communication. Because like it or not, the contours (consciously or unconsciously drawn) along which our economic, cultural, sexual or political identities are constructed, their affiliations and demarcations are negotiated given away or dissolved, become visible according to what we wear and how we wear it.

We understand ‘style’ as the way in which a person presents themselves to the world through their clothes, and the ‘street’ as a public space in constant transformation constituted by ever-changing, (dis-)appearing and (usually) clothed bodies.

Our research and the resulting 13 projects take these creative fashion potentials as a public means of expression. Alongside the fascinating entanglements of fashion, its symbols, psychologies, industries and venues, they navigate between commodity fetish and art form, fast pace and self-expression, virtualisation and corporeality, exploitation and empowerment.

Secret languages become recognisable patterns, fleeting zombies, cracked surfaces.

With contributions from: Manuel Cistof, Lizzy Ellbrück, Niklas Etz, Rustam Faradschev, Christine Fischer, Luisa Hentsch, Bruno Jacoby, Janosch Kratz, Calvin Kudufia, Felix Köder, Paulina Mimberg, Moritz Simon, Juliana Vargas Zapata, Janis Zeckai, Lena Zwerina

Editing team: Eleanor Schilling, Paulina Mimberg, Lizzy Ellbrück, Bruno Jacoby

Supervision: Prof. Rebecca Stephany