FASHION UNDER THE OCCUPATION

DOMINIQUE VEILLON
222pp 2002 LIST PRICE: £27.99 (P) H591

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Description
Before the outbreak of the Second World War, French fashion represented the very pinnacle of style, and French women the epitome of chic. One morning in September 1939, into this idyllic world of haute couture and cafe society came the shattering experience of war, followed by the German Occupation. French women, determined not to give way to the inevitable austerities, sought innovation: hats made from blotting paper or newspapers – the latter signalling political allegiances – and blouses made out of parachute silk, often obtained through dubious means. Not only did life go on, but creativity flourished – culottes, which enabled stylish bicycle journeys, became the vogue, and couturiers capitalised on deprivation with wit – dubbing designs Coal and Black Coffee, or naming an entire collection after Metro stops. This book is widely acknowledged as the authoritative work on fashion during this period.