costume designers Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt

The costumes of Lavinia Schulz have long fascinated me, and they are all the more poignant for the story that lies behind them…

Lavinia Schulz was born in Germany in 1896.  She trained in dance, music and painting and aged just 17 became the costume creator and dancer for Lothar Schreyer who had just founded the Expressionist theatre Sturm-Bühne.  She left the theatre aged 20 and married Walter Holdt.  Together their ethos was to live without money and they lived with no bed or furniture.  They are also said to have lived in their dance tights so that they could constantly devote themselves to dance and costume.

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Here are a couple of their sketches…

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In 1924, 4 days before her 28th birthday, tragically Lavinia Schulz shot Walter Holdt dead and then turned the gun on herself.

They left behind 30 costumes that were rediscovered in Hamburg in 1989.

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Above: TOBOGGAN

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Above: SPRINGVIEH

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Above: MASCARA mask

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Above: BIG TECHNOLOGY costumeom-pom-lavinia-schulz-1

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Above: Schulz and Holdt costumes on display at Museum für Kunst

I so hope you’ve loved these costumes as much as me.  I’ll leave you with a short video of the reopening of the exhibition Moderne at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Hamburg in February 2012 of Lavinia and Walter’s costumes.  Enjoy…

words: CAND JUSKUS

images: old black and white photos Minya Diez Duhrkoop, colour images Museum für Kunst and other online sources