Loading... Please wait...
  • Image 1
  • Image 2
  • Image 3
  • Image 4
  • Image 5
  • Image 6
  • Image 7

French Fashion, Women, and the First World War, edited by Maude Bass-Krueger and Sophie Kurkdjian


Maude Bass-Krueger and Sophie Kurkdjian, editors

Named a 2020 50 Books | 50 Covers award winner by the AIGA, the professional association for design.

Awarded First Prize for the 2020 American Alliance of Museums Publication Contest.

An unprecedented examination of the impact of fashion on society in France throughout the Great War. This fascinating exploration of French women’s fashion during World War I is the first in-depth consideration of the role that fashion played in the upheaval of French society between 1914 and 1918. As the fashion industry—the second largest industry in the country—mobilized to help the war effort, Parisian couture houses introduced new styles, aggressively disseminated information through magazines, and strengthened their propaganda efforts overseas. Women of all social classes adapted their garments to the wartime lifestyle, and practicality was increasingly introduced in the form of pockets and “sportswear” textiles like jersey.

While women were heralded for contributing to the war effort, the clothes they wore while doing so often provoked debates, particularly when their attire was seen as too masculine or militaristic. With focused studies of wartime garments such as skirt suits, nurse’s uniforms, work overalls, and mourning clothes, this volume brings to life the passionate debates that roiled the French fashion industry and reveals the extent to which fashion was a hotly contested topic and a barometer for social tensions throughout this tumultuous era.

Maude Bass-Krueger is postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Arts in Society at Leiden University. Sophie Kurkdjian is a research fellow at l’Institut d’histoire du temps présent (IHTP-CNRS) 

The exhibition French Fashion, Women, and the First World War was on view at Bard Graduate Center Gallery from September 5, 2019 through January 5, 2020. 


Table of Contents

Director's Foreword
Susan Weber

Gallery Director's Foreword
Nina Stritzler-Levine

Editor's Acknowledgements
Maude Bass-Krueger and Sophie Kurkdjian

Illustrated Chronology, 1914-20: French Fashion, Women, and the First World War
Maude Bass-Krueger and Sophie Kurkdjian

Maude Bass-Krueger

Fashioning Gender in Wartime France

1. French Women and the First World War
Margaret Darrow

1a. Nurses' Uniforms
Johanne Berlemont and Anaïs Raynaud

2. "Needles En Avant!": The Militarization of Women's Sewing and Knitting during the First World War in France, Great Britain, and America
Susan Grayzel

3. Fashion, Gender, and Anxiety
Maude Bass-Krueger

3a. Mourning
Maude Bass-Krueger

4. Photographing the Working Woman: The Excelsior Archives at Roger-Viollet
Sophie Kurkdjian

4a. Overalls
Jérémie Brucker

French Fashion: Adapting to Crises

5. The Wartime Fashion Industry
Maude Bass-Krueger

5a. The Evolution of the Fashionable Silhouette, 1911-19
Maude Bass-Krueger

5b. Selected Designs Registered for Copyright, 1917-19
Maude Bass-Krueger

5c. Jeanne Paquin, Jeanne Lanvin, Jenny, and Gabrielle Chanel, 1914-18
Sophie Kurkdjian

5d. The Costume Tailleur
Michele Majer

6. Restructuring French Couture, 1914-18
Sophie Kurkdjian

7. "Copying is Stealing!" : The Fashion Press and Counterfeiting
Sophie Kurkdjian

8. The Crisis of 1917: "National Fashion" and American Textile Restrictions
Maude Bass-Krueger

9. Midinettes on Strike
Maude Bass-Krueger

10. Returning to the Gender Question
Maude Bass-Krueger and Sophie Kurkdjian

French fashion houses active during the War

French fashion magazines published during the War
Sophie Kurkdjian

Timeline Captions

Checklist of the Exhibition
Emma Cormack




5.00 LBS

Other Details


Page Count
384 | illustrated throughout

Publication date
September 2019

Hardcover: paper over board