Women in Weimar Fashion: Discourses and Displays in German Culture, 1918-1933

Overview

In the Weimar Republic, fashion was not only manipulated by the various mass media — film, magazines, advertising, photography, and popular literature — but also emerged as a powerful medium for women's self-expression. Female writers and journalists, including Helen Grund, Irmgard Keun, Vicki Baum, Elsa Maria Bug, and numerous others engaged in a challenging, self-reflective commentary on current styles. By regularly publishing on these topics in the illustrated press and popular literature, they transformed ...

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Overview

In the Weimar Republic, fashion was not only manipulated by the various mass media — film, magazines, advertising, photography, and popular literature — but also emerged as a powerful medium for women's self-expression. Female writers and journalists, including Helen Grund, Irmgard Keun, Vicki Baum, Elsa Maria Bug, and numerous others engaged in a challenging, self-reflective commentary on current styles. By regularly publishing on these topics in the illustrated press and popular literature, they transformed traditional genres and carved out significant public space for themselves. This book re-evaluates paradigmatic concepts of German modernism such as the flâneur, the Feuilleton, and Neue Sachlichkeit in the light of primary material unearthed in archival research: fashion vignettes, essays, short stories, travelogues, novels, films, documentaries, newsreels, and photographs. Unlike other studies of Weimar culture that have ignored the crucial role of fashion, the book proposes a new genealogy of women's modernity by focusing on the discourse and practice of Weimar fashion, in which the women were transformed from objects of male voyeurism into subjects with complex, ambivalent, and constantly shifting experiences of metropolitan modernity. Mila Ganeva is Associate Professor of German at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

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Product Details

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction: On Fashion, Women, and Modernity     1
Discourses on Fashion
The Fashion Journalist: Flaneur or New Woman?     21
Fashion Journalism at Ullstein House     50
In the Waiting Room of Literature: Helen Grund and the Practice of Fashion and Travel Writing     84
Displays of Fashion
Weimar Film as Fashion Show     113
The Mannequins     151
Fashion and Fiction: Women's Modernity in Irmgard Keun's Novel Gilgi     171
Epilogue     192
Biographical Information on Fashion Journalists and Fashion Illustrators     197
A List of German Feature Films about Fashion from the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s     203
Works Cited     205
Index     227
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