DAS FORUM | 22.06.2022 – 15.01.2023

A cooperative project of C&A and of the Draiflessen Collection

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In 2021, for its 180-year anniversary, C&A brought out a retro collection based on its own fashion designs of the past decades. These constitute the contents of the presentation THE ARCHIVE COLLECTION in Draiflessen Collection’s DAS Forum. This C&A collection, which revives the zeitgeist and stylistic characteristics of bygone years, is being presented together with select originals from the Draiflessen Collection’s own archive holdings.

Cooperation between C&A and the Draiflessen Collection
In November 2020 the C&A designers together with the archive staff of the Draiflessen Collection embarked on a journey into the past. The starting point for the retro collection were the company’s advertising folders, printed advertisements and fashion collections from past decades that are being collected and stored in the archive of the Draiflessen Collection. They provide insights into C&A ‘s history, creations and advertising from 1841 to the present day.
 It was thanks to over 100 years of collection work on the part of many people that C&A was able to create the Archive Collection in cooperation with the Draiflessen Collection for the company’s anniversary.

Click here for the interview with the participants.

Fashion brings back to life the zeitgeist of former times
Every decade is characterised by particular styles that represent its zeitgeist. That is why clothing and accessories are ideally suited to reviving the feeling of a particular decade. Now displayed in a new context as part of a museum collection, C&A’s historical advertising and fashions within the framework of this project provided important inspiration and sparked the designers’ imagination: For instance, in the Archive Collection the bell bottoms that were popular in the 1970s were made somewhat narrower in order to adapt them to modern trends. In general, the fashion industry is currently experiencing a marketplace revival of models from the 1960s through the 1980s which is reflected in THE ARCHIVE COLLECTION’s presentation. Thus, for example, the historical little black dress inspired detailed adaptations – which in line with the current trend are even much shorter than the miniskirt of the 1960s, and in pastel colours. 

The term THE ARCHIVE COLLECTION thus perfectly describes this symbiosis. In order to present as multifaceted a selection of contemporary fashion and historical models as possible, the exhibits are changed midway during the exhibition’s run: Spring/summer makes way for fall/winter. 

This project of cooperation and presentation is rounded off by the publication of an Open up! with extensive photographic material and exclusive background information
Ausschnitt aus C&A Werbeanzeige aus dem Jahr 1969 mit aktuellem C&A-Logo, Original: Draiflessen Collection, Mettingen | © Draiflessen Collection