Paris Fashion and World War Two

Paris Fashion and World War Two : Global Diffusion and Nazi Control

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In 1939, fashion became an economic and symbolic sphere of great importance in France. Invasive textile legislation, rationing and threats from German and American couturiers were pushing the design and trade of Parisian style to its limits. It is widely accepted that French fashion was severely curtailed as a result, isolated from former foreign clients and deposed of its crown as global queen of fashion. This pioneering book offers a different story. Arguing that Paris retained its hold on the international haute couture industry right throughout WWII, eminent dress historians and curators come together to show that, amid political, economic and cultural traumas, Paris fashion remained very much alive under the Nazi occupation - and on an international level.

Bringing exciting perspectives to challenge a familiar story and introducing new overseas trade links out of occupied France, this book takes us from the salons of renowned couturiers such as Edward Molyneux and Robert Piguet, French Vogue and Le Jardin des Modes and luxury Lyon silk factories, to Rio de Janeiro, Denmark and Switzerland, and the great American department stores of New York. Also comparing extravagant Paris occupation styles to austerity fashions of the UK and USA, parallel industrial and design developments highlight the unresolvable tension between luxury fashion and the everyday realities of wartime life. Showing that Paris strove to maintain world dominance as leader of couture through fashion journalism, photography and exported fashion forecasting, Paris Fashion and World War Two makes a significant contribution to the cultural history of fashion.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 360 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 17.78mm | 1,010g
  • Bloomsbury Visual Arts
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 239 colour illus
  • 1350000264
  • 9781350000261
  • 797,395

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Introduction: Lou Taylor and Marie McLoughlin

1. From Berlin to Paris Lou Taylor
2. The Lyon haute nouveaute fashion textile industry during World War Two: design, making, exhibition and diffusion Lou Taylor
3. The Impact of Shortages on Couture Fashion Accessories in Paris, 1940-44 Dominique Veillon
4. 'Much News from the Fashion Front' - Swedish Neutrality and the Diffusion of Paris Fashion during World War Two Ulrika Kyaga
5. From Paris to New York: the methods used by Paris haute couture to maintain its domination on the fashion world on both sides of the Atlantic, 1939-46, through women's magazines Sophie Kurkdjian
6. The Fashion worlds of Paris and the USA during World War Two: competition, contact and business, 1939-45 Sandra Stansbery Buckland
7. Lisbon as a centre of couture fashion in World War Two and its Paris and international connections Alexandra Gameiro and Lou Taylor
8. Fashion in Denmark in the 'Five Dark Years' Kirsten Toftegaard
9. The diffusion, reception and use of Paris style information by the press and haute couture salons in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1939-45 Claudia de Oliviera
10. Annexed, Neutral and Occupied - The Paris Influence on Couture Fashion in Austria, Switzerland and Belgium Lou Taylor
11. 1944: London plans to become the 'Meridian' of world fashion Marie McLoughlin
12. Paris Fashion: An international product for an international clientele Marie McLoughlin with post-script by Nancy Yeide
13. The business of Paris couture from Liberation to Rejuvenation. Late August 1944 to February 1947 Lou Taylor with Marie McLoughlin
14. The End of the War in Europe: Rejuvenating the International Business of Paris haute couture Lou Taylor with Marie McLoughlin

Conclusion: Marie McLoughlin and Lou Taylor with post script: A Letter from Nuremberg, 1946, Lou Taylor

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Review quote

Essential reading for all students of fashion history in this period. It will undoubtedly endure as a definitive work on the subject of Parisian haute couture during German occupation and serve as a critical guide for the reassessment of fashion history during the wartime era. * The Journal of Dress History * Stimulating, analytical, at times very moving, and enhanced by a judicious choice of illustrations. It will become a standard work, one that I cannot recommend highly enough. * Colin McDowell, author of 'The Literary Companion to Fashion' and contributor to The Business of Fashion website * An extraordinary achievement ... it transforms our picture of Paris fashion under the Nazi Occupation. * Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator at the Museum at FIT, New York, USA * Bringing together an international cast of scholars and gorgeously illustrated, Paris Fashion and World War Two will become the standard reference on the subject. * Steve Zdatny, University of Vermont, USA * A 'must read'. It is a kaleidoscopic history of the contradictions faced by those who made, sold and wore luxury fashions during the darkest years of the war. * Alexandra Palmer, Royal Ontario Museum, Canada * This book is a rarity in fashion scholarship in that it tells a story that engages the heart as much as the head, a story of human courage in the face of a great evil. * Brenda Polan, author of 'The Great Fashion Designers' *
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About Lou Taylor

Lou Taylor is Professor Emerita in Dress History at the University of Brighton, UK. She played a central role in establishing the discipline of dress history with her two books The Study of Dress History (2002) and Establishing Dress History (2004).

Marie McLoughlin is Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK. She lectures in dress history and her research interests include the intersection of fashion with art.
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