It’s October, which means once again it’s time for Graphic Design Halloween costumes. This year I want to highlight the really out-there masterpieces from the Bauhaus in the 1920s. The famous artists at the Bauhaus (including Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, László Moholy-Nagy, and Marcel Breuer) apparently had quite the costume competition at their social events, creating fantastical, original outfits that played with silhouette, line, shape, and all sorts of visual design principles.
The costumes were described by Farkas Molnár, a Hungarian architect and Bauhaus student, in his 1925 essay, Life at the Bauhaus: “Inhuman, or humanoid, but always new. You may see monstrously tall shapes stumbling about, colorful mechanical figures that yield not the slightest clue as to where the head is. Sweet girls inside a red cube. Here comes a witch and they are hoisted high up into the air; lights flash and scents are sprayed. … Kandinsky prefers to appear decked out as an antenna, Itten as an amorphous monster, Feininger as two right triangles, Moholy-Nagy as a segment transpierced by a cross, Gropius as Le Corbusier, Muche as an apostle of Mazdaznan, Klee as the song of the blue tree. A rather grotesque menagerie…”
Along these same lines are the delightful masks from a collaboration between the artist Saul Steinberg and photographer Inge Morath (more here).