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Silk and Steel: French Fashion, Women and WWI

Women’s fashion played a surprisingly important role during WWI, especially in France. Learn why fashion was more than simply a means of personal expression in the new exhibition Silk and Steel: French Fashion, Women and WWI – a new chapter of the history of the war at the Museum and Memorial. Silk and Steel features original dresses, coats, capes, hats, shoes and accessories. Topics presented are the evolution of the war-time silhouette, Parisian designers during the war, military uniforms’ influence, women’s uniforms in France and America, war work, economics of fashion and post-war emancipation.

Original clothing and accessories are on loan from the Kansas City Museum; the Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland; Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection, University of Missouri, Columbia; Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka and the Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, R.I. Material from the National WWI Museum and Memorial includes clothing, accessories, military uniforms, archival documents, photographs, original posters and French fashion images and periodicals.

Period French designers shown include Callot Sœurs, Madeleine Vionnet, House of Worth, Maison Complier & Rondeau and Hermès.

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