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 flaneur, 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.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 252
Weight: 374 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
Ganeva's carefully researched and clearly written study is not only interesting to film studies scholars for the part that deals explicitly with film. Instead, the entire book works out parallels between the societal perception of fashion and film, both components of popular culture that promised unmatched brilliance and glamour and were medial systems that mirrored the experiences of Modernity in a very direct way and formed a feminine niche in mass culture. FILMBLATT
Mila Ganeva has demonstrated the special meaning of fashion in the discourse on modernity between 1918 and 1933, and particularly has analyzed the intricate role of women between self-empowerment and objectification . . . Her work [is] an indispensable contribution to research in this area. QUERELLES-NET
This important and innovative work . . . makes a significant contribution to the emerging literatures of fashion and modernity with respect to gender. H-NET REVIEWS