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Today

10:00 - 19:00

Opening times

Museum, boutique and bistro

  • openinghours.days.long.tuesday Open till openinghours.days.long.wednesday openinghours.openfromto.long

  • openinghours.days.long.thursday openinghours.openfromto.long

  • openinghours.days.long.friday Open till openinghours.days.long.sunday openinghours.openfromto.long

  • openinghours.days.long.monday closed

Library

  • openinghours.days.long.tuesday Open till openinghours.days.long.wednesday openinghours.and openinghours.days.long.friday openinghours.openfromto.long

  • openinghours.days.long.thursday openinghours.openfromto.long

  • openinghours.days.long.saturday Open till openinghours.days.long.monday closed

An Feiertagen geschlossen

Special opening times

  • Swiss National Holiday 01.08.2024 10:00 - 19:00

  • Long Night of the Museums 07.09.2024 10:00 - 17:00
    18:00 - 23:59

  • Long Night of the Museums 08.09.2024 0:00 - 2:00
    10:00 - 17:00

  • Knabenschiessen 09.09.2024 closed

  • Family Day 20.10.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • Christmas Eve 24.12.2024 10:00 - 14:00

  • Christmas 25.12.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • St. Stephen´s Day 26.12.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • 27.12.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • 28.12.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • 29.12.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • 30.12.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • New Year´s Eve 31.12.2024 10:00 - 17:00

  • New Year´s Day 01.01.2025 10:00 - 17:00

  • Saint Berchtold 02.01.2025 10:00 - 19:00

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wild and beautiful – fashion by Ursula Rodel

National Museum Zurich | 21.7.2023 - 1.4.2024
published on 14.7.2023

Ursula Rodel is one of Switzerland's best-known and most influential fashion pioneers. In a life lived to extremes, she created boundary-pushing work that fused fashion, design and art.

Ursula Rodel grew up near Lake Hallwil in the canton of Aargau where her family ran a hotel. After train­ing at the Swiss Tex­tile College in Wattwil and at the London School of Fashion, Rodel moved to Zurich as a stylist. At a time of change and upheaval, this was where punk attitudes mingled with fashion trends, and where the young fashion designer began her rise to prominence as an internationally sought-after costume designer.

After founding her own fashion label in 1972 – one of the first prêt-à-porter labels in Switzerland – she began attracting the attention of the international film scene. The Swiss designer created the costumes for films by Daniel Schmid and Claude Berri, and ensured that Catherine Deneuve appeared at her finest. Her relationship with the French actress quickly developed from a purely professional association into a close, lifelong friendship. But Rodel never let all her socialising with the international jet set go to her head. Quite the opposite: the fashion designer always stayed true to herself, somehow managing to strike a balance between glamour and unconventionality, between hard work and wild living, and between catering to the ideals of classic style and creating fashion statements for emancipated, professional women.

The National Museum Zurich is travelling back to the 1970s to dive into an era of change and contradictions that became a fertile breeding ground for the fashion avant-garde. Welcome to the wild world of Ursula Rodel, an artist and designer who lived life in the fast lane.

More about the exhibition

Images

Classic Ursula Rodel

The green leather trousers edged with dark red piping bear Ursula Rodel's signature. The characteristic appliqués at the zipper and bottom hem add an offbeat touch to the trousers. The silk shirt with coloured stripes and woven dots falls loosely on the body.

© Swiss National Museum

Impressive talent

The design sketches for a collection show Ursula Rodel's great drawing skills and virtuoso use of pencil and chalk. As a rule, she started with the head, imagined the wearer and then developed the body and clothing. Only a fraction of the designer's fashion drawings were turned into actual garments. Most of them were kept in the 'look-book' in her boutique as inspiration for customers. Sketches for a collection around 1980.

© Swiss National Museum

Impressive talent

The design sketches for a collection show Ursula Rodel's great drawing skills and virtuoso use of pencil and chalk. As a rule, she started with the head, imagined the wearer and then developed the body and clothing. Only a fraction of the designer's fashion drawings were turned into actual garments. Most of them were kept in the 'look-book' in her boutique as inspiration for customers. Sketches for a collection around 1980.

© Swiss National Museum

Impressive talent

The design sketches for a collection show Ursula Rodel's great drawing skills and virtuoso use of pencil and chalk. As a rule, she started with the head, imagined the wearer and then developed the body and clothing. Only a fraction of the designer's fashion drawings were turned into actual garments. Most of them were kept in the 'look-book' in her boutique as inspiration for customers. Sketches for a collection around 1980.

© Swiss National Museum

Impressive talent

The design sketches for a collection show Ursula Rodel's great drawing skills and virtuoso use of pencil and chalk. As a rule, she started with the head, imagined the wearer and then developed the body and clothing. Only a fraction of the designer's fashion drawings were turned into actual garments. Most of them were kept in the 'look-book' in her boutique as inspiration for customers. Sketches for a collection around 1980.

© Swiss National Museum

Inspired by Elvis

This masculine women's shirt is inspired by the clothes of rock idol Elvis Presley. The drawing evokes an independent woman with a wild, androgynous look. Sketch for a collection from 1981.

© Swiss National Museum

Acrobatics and eroticism at a fashion show

Lightly clad and bound women move acrobatically under an imaginary big top. Ursula Rodel was fascinated by the world of the circus and by erotic light fiction. She drew inspiration from both for the costumes of Thema Selection's third fashion show. Drawing from 1978.

© Swiss National Museum

Memories of the film "Je vous aime"

Ursula Rodel created albums of souvenir photos during various film shoots. This page shows Catherine Deneuve with fellow actors Gérard Depardieu, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Serge Gainsbourg during breaks in the shooting of the film "Je vous aime" (1980) by Claude Berri. Instant photos taken between 1977 and 1980, captioned by Ursula Rodel.

© Swiss National Museum

Self-portrait with Catherine Deneuve

Ursula Rodel designed Catherine Deneuve's wardrobe for various films. The two women became friends and spent holidays together. The designer also privately created clothes for her friend. Instant photo taken in 1978, captioned by Ursula Rodel.

© Swiss National Museum

Illustrious clientele

The Thema Selection boutique in Zurich became a veritable haunt for celebrities from the world of art and culture. When Ursula Rodel designed costumes for the film "Violanta" (1977) by Daniel Schmid, she received a visit from the leading lady Lucia Bosè. From left to right: Uta Dietrich, Sissi Zöbeli, Lucia Bosè, Ursula Rodel, Elisabeth Bossard, Christa Derungs.

© Swiss National Museum

Portrait

Ursula Rodel in her studio above the Thema Selection boutique at Weite Gasse 9 in Zurich. Her former colleagues describe her as a tireless and conscientious hard worker. Photo by Candid Lang, undated.

© State Archives Canton Aargau / Ringier Picture Archive AAG/RBA3-2-BL7925524_1

Ursula as a punk

Through her friendship with the "Queen of Punk", Edwige Belmore, Ursula Rodel was introduced to photographer Pierre Commoy in Paris. He took this iconic photo of her.

© Pierre Commoy

wild and beautiful – fashion by Ursula Rodel

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

wild and beautiful – fashion by Ursula Rodel

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

wild and beautiful – fashion by Ursula Rodel

A view of the exhibition.

© Swiss National Museum

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