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Runway Archive: Salon Johanna Marbach, ca. 1916.

Fashion show in Salon Johanna Marbach, photo by 'Atlantic', Berlin, ca. 1916. Courtesy Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, CC BY NC SA.

Fashion show in Salon Johanna Marbach, photo by 'Atlantic', Berlin, ca. 1916. Courtesy Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, CC BY NC SA.

The picture shows a model posing in an nineteenth century interior, with three women, probably clients, looking carefully at the model while sitting on chairs. The model, standing straight, is wearing a knee-long redingote with fur collar, cuffs and lower hem. Underneath the coat, is an an ankle-lenght skirt, worn over black tights and low-heeled shoes. On the head, the model is sporting a flat hat with wide straight brims.

Differently from nowadays nearly public shows, whose grandeur is usually streamed on the Internet, in their early stages fashion shows were private events that involved few guests. In-house models were dressed in the maison’s creations and sent on a proper stage, with potential clients as audience. The clients would chose their favourite looks, to later discuss the eventual details for the finalization of their new silhouettes. In this original photography by ‘Atlantic’, the clients are assisting at the fashion show of designer Johanna Marbach in Berlin. Marbach was a designer active in the first two decades of the twentieth century, who also designed the costumes for films of Carl Froelich and William Dieterle.

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