Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Fashion in Weimar Germany

Fashion in Weimar Germany. An essay discussing images of the 'New Woman' with short bobbed hair and masculine clothes in relation to their roots in the sociological background of Germany in the 1920s.

From the site:

It is Germany, 1928. Raucous laughter from the cabaret seeps outside as Lotte passes in the shadows of the cold Berlin night. The streets are sexually charged, lined with a heady concoction of prostitution, homosexuality, transvestism and drugs. Still spinning from the collective lust roaring unashamedly through the theatre that evening, Lotte heads now for the café bar at the Eden Hotel where she lives. Jostling with leggy glamour girls as she takes her drink, Lotte pushes a straying strand of short hair behind her ear, settles her slender trouser-suited body into the deep folds of an armchair and smiles provocatively as she lights a cigarette.

Berlin's interwar reputation of hedonistic decadence and debauchery is familiar through scenes from Metropolis by Fritz Lang, images of Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel by Josef von Sternberg and stage productions of The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht. A ferment of artistic and sexual experimentation, the Weimar Republic (1918-1933) privileged an outpouring of cultural creativity in the Bauhaus movement of modern art and the development of the International Style in modern architecture. Against a background of inflation and depression, Berlin drew the talent and energies of the rest of Germany towards its glittering cabaret performances and burgeoning sex tourism industry. From within this hotbed of frenzied immorality, supposedly constitutional sexual equality worked to create the myth of the sexually liberated and financially independent 'New Woman' in Weimar German society.

No comments: