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Bernhard Willhelm Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Solo Exhibition

Jutta Kraus photographed by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm, 2009

Jutta Kraus photographed by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm, 2009

DALLAS & PARIS, Dec 9, 2009 / FW/ — A collaboration between Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus, the Bernhard Willhelm label since its inception in 1999 continues to build a world of fantasy which is pretty crazy.

Staying in cult territory for the past 10 years, never once did Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus gave in to commercialism, though surprisingly enough, their business continues to flourish.

Though sometimes we don’t understand the message, one thing is sure – season after season, we are mesmerized by Bernhard Willhelm.

And, that is perhaps the reason why instead of throwing a big party, Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Kraus are holding a major solo exhibition under the auspices of The Groninger Museum in the Netherlands.

Over ten years, Willhelm and Kraus realized more than 30 collections. The exhibition will offer an extensive selection of both men’s and women’s line which will delve into the design duo’s unconventional mode characterized by a strong visual language.

An expression that is sometimes grotesque, often fantastic, even childish, Willhelm and Kraus combines their unique fashion vision with elements from pop culture and haute couture.

Bernhard Willhelm, Paris March 2009. Photo by Thomas Barnes

Bernhard Willhelm, Paris March 2009. Photo by Thomas Barnes

Bernhard Willhelm studied at the Helm Royal Academy for Visual Arts in Antwerp while Jutta Kraus got her degree from the University of Westminster, London. In 1999 they started together under one name – Bernhard Willhelm.

From the beginning they showed a highly personal and idiosyncratic style in a world that they created on their own. Although their work is strongly rooted in the world of fashion and often times showcased on the catwalk, they also have a penchant for installations or tableaus, thus making their presentations like art shows or performances.

Inspired by eclectic muses ranging from German folklore to Michael Jackson, historical costumes to the American flag, Willhelm and Krauss deconstruct traditional silhouettes and reconstruct them into striking alternative vision of fashion.

Stage designer Zana Bosnjak is taking care of the art direction of the exhibition while Mark Wilson and Sue-an van der Zijpp are the curators.

A comprehensive book with over 500 illustrations celebrating the past 10 years of the label and the work of Bernhard Willhelm and Jutta Krauus will be published by NAi Publishers in conjunction with the exhibition.

BERNHARD WILLHELM Exhibition
December 13, 2009 to April 11, 2010
The Groninger Musuem
Museum Island 1
9711 ME Groningen
Tel: 050 3666555
http://www.groningermuseum.nl

[MARI DAVIS]
Photo: Jutta Kraus photographed by Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm, 2009 (detail).