Nazi Chic?

Overview

We are all familiar with the stereotype of the German woman as either a Brunhilde in uniform or a chubby farmer's wife. However, throughout the interwar period fashion was one of Germany's largest industries and German women ranked among the most elegantly dressed in all of Europe. This book explores the failed attempt by the Nazi state to construct a female image that would mirror official gender policies, instill feelings of national pride, promote a German victory on the fashion runways of Europe, and support ...

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Overview

We are all familiar with the stereotype of the German woman as either a Brunhilde in uniform or a chubby farmer's wife. However, throughout the interwar period fashion was one of Germany's largest industries and German women ranked among the most elegantly dressed in all of Europe. This book explores the failed attempt by the Nazi state to construct a female image that would mirror official gender policies, instill feelings of national pride, promote a German victory on the fashion runways of Europe, and support a Nazi-controlled European fashion industry. How did the few women with power maintain style and elegance? How did the majority experience the increased standardization of clothing characteristic of the Nazi years? How did women deal with the severe clothing restrictions brought about by Nazi policies and the exigencies of war? Nazi 'Chic'? addresses these questions and many others, including the role of anti-Semitism, "aryanization," and the hypocrisy of Nazi policies. The result is the first book in English to deal comprehensively with German fashion from World War I through to the end of the Third Reich.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a serious and deeply researched study of a subject that is too often dismissed...Nazi Chic is a book about fashion without being faddish. It is a book for historians as much as for students of fashion and design, chic without the kitsch." —David Cesarani, editor of Final Solution

"An exhaustively researched, well-written, and highly original book." —Jonathan Petropoulos, Claremont McKenna College, author of The Faustian Bargain: The Art World of Nazi Germany

"Brilliant and chilling." —Valerie Steele, author of The Corset: A Cultural History

"Stylishly written, and without jargon, this is a rare work of cultural history. With its delightful vignettes and intelligent argumentation, it takes one on a delightful tour through the world of Nazi fashion." —Eric A. Johnson, author of Nazi Terror: The Gestapo, Jews, and Ordinary Germans

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781859734001
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 5/6/2004
  • Series: Dress, Body, Culture
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Lexile: 1660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

Irene Guenther is Professor of History, Houston Community College. She was short-listed for the prestigious Stern Prize from the German Studies Association in 2002.

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Table of Contents

Part One
• Introduction
• The Fashion Debate in World War One
• The "New" Woman
Part Two
• Fashioning Women in the Third Reich
• "Purifying" the German Clothing Industry
• The German Fashion Institute
• The War Years: The Home Front, the Ghettos and the Concentration Camps of the Third Reich

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