Monday, March 2, 2009

The Haunting of Army Chic

World War II significantly damaged the fashion industry in 1939 due to the authoritative hand of the Nazi Army. Their goal was to transfer the entire fashion industry to Berlin or Vienna. The Parisian fashion industry found itself in one of the stickiest times in history. Due to quotas being enforced on supplies, manufacturing slowed to an almost snail like pace. Rare coupons were necessary to purchase rayon, which capped materials available to design houses and manufacturers. The Nazi Army suffocated the fashion industry, yet the couture houses lead the path to inventive frugality. They started refashioning old materials and created a trickle down effect where every household learned a canny like trait in terms of their family closet. A foreign path was handed to The Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers by the British Board of Trade. They were commissioned to create a utility clothing scheme and before anyone knew it, the war was keeping the fashion industry afloat. Is the much more evolved and weathered industry about to bump into it's old enemy: war? Are designers foreshadowing or are they simply looking into the past for mere inspirations? Is history becoming a reality or are we creating history? I fear time is the only designer of this war.

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