Cover image for Nazi chic? : fashioning women in the Third Reich
Nazi chic? : fashioning women in the Third Reich
Guenther, Irene.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Oxford : Berg, [2004]

Physical Description:
ix, 499 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1660 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GT911 .G84 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



No Marketing Blurb

Author Notes

Authors Bio, not available

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Despite numerous publications covering politics and women's roles in the Third Reich, this work by Guenther (Houston Community College-Northwest) covers new ground by focusing on government control through sartorial symbolism tied to cultural nationalism, anti-Semitic purification of the German clothing industry, and how these policies were carried out by the German Fashion Institute, a Nazi propaganda agency in Berlin. Early on, the traditional German folk costume (dirndl dress with bodice, embroidered collar, shawl, apron, and jacket) was the ideal for older women; a stylish uniform (white blouse, black neck kerchief, white socks, flat-heeled leather shoes, and "Alpine-look" jacket) for youthful females. But some sophisticated urban females refused to be co-opted in their fashion choices. Guenther recognizes that haute couture in France survived WW II German occupation via collaboration/defiance tactics (see Dominique Veillon's Fashion under the Occupation, CH, Sep'03). She opines that some elite women in Germany subtly resisted Nazi restrictions by unpatriotically insisting on wearing French designs, cosmetics, and perfumes. Finally, extreme wartime shortages, tight rationing, and loss of Jewish creative talents devastated the German clothing industry, ending all Nazi hopes of dominating European fashions. This fascinating case study of how male dictatorships cannot totally control female tastes is heavily documented (endnotes and bibliography--197 pages). ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. B. B. Chico Regis University

Table of Contents

Part One Introduction
The Fashion Debate in World War One
The 'New' WomanPart 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