A Corona Thing?

Thing of the Month May 2020
A Corona Thing?

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Bathing Cap. Brand: Fashy, Gummi-Kraus GmbH (today: Fashy GmbH), Stuttgart, 1970s. Collection Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge, Berlin. Photo: Armin Herrmann, 2020.

Bathing Cap

»Are there inevitably suggestive objects? Certainly not [...] for myth is a speech chosen by history; it cannot emerge from the "nature" of things.« (Roland Barthes: Mythologies. Paris, 1957).

The black bathing cap of the Fashy brand, decorated with white flower applications, was produced by Gummi-Kraus GmbH in the 1970s. The applied floral elements are reminiscent of tentacles of sea anemones in their lively movement.

The introduction of bathing caps as a hygiene measure in public baths in both parts of Germany was accompanied by their industrial mass production in the 1960s. In addition to aerodynamic models for swimming and the cap with chin strap that firmly encloses the head, which appeared as early as the 1920s, a variety of unusual, high-maintenance designs coexisted. Optimised filter technology for bathing water treatment made hygiene regulations superfluous in the 1980s. To this day, Fashy GmbH sells – in addition to hot-water bottles and sporty silicone bathing utensils – bathing caps with flowers, frills or made of folded fabric as fashionable accessories.

The bathing cap can be seen in the permanent exhibition of the Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge.