Jawdropping nuttiness from 1920s Hamburg – dozens of wild, Expressionist dance costumes that look like “retro robots and Bauhaus knights.”
Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt were the dancers who created 20 full-body costumes for performances between 1919 and 1924, all accompanied by avant-garde music, often composed by Hans Heinz Stuckenschmidt. Made of a creative mix of fabric, cardboard, papier-mâché, plaster, leather, and other found objects, these unbelievably fabulous costumes were acquired by the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg in 1924, the very year the images were shot, and not rediscovered in their boxes until the 1980s.
According to the website Hypoallergenic: “One reason the striking costumes might have been left to gather dust was the startling and sad end to Schulz and Holdt’s story. Both were in their 20s, and had earned little money from their artistic work. In financial ruin, on June 18, 1924, Schulz shot Holdt, and then turned the gun on herself. They both died from their wounds.”
Recently, their story has finally come to light, and the restored costumes are on view in the MKG’s Sammlung Moderne galleries. For the reopening of those galleries in 2012, there was a performance reanimating the costumes, reviving them after nearly a century in obscurity.
Take a gander below. Your mind is about to be blown. Almost 100 years ago and they were doing shit that Leigh Bowery would DIE to wear.