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Fashioning Socialism

Clothing, Politics, and Consumer Culture in East Germany


Judd Stitziel

978-1-8478-8000-0 (online)
978-1-8452-0281-1 (hardback)
978-1-8452-0282-8 (paperback)
978-1-4742-6351-1 (epdf)
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Fashioning Socialism is the first history of communist fashion in East Germany. Using clothing as a lens to read society, the author unveils wider tensions between the regime and the population and within the regime itself.In telling the surprising - and often bizarre - story of communist haute couture, fashion shows, seasonal clearance sales, the textile and garment industries, and everyday consumer practices, this book explores the paradoxical causes, forms, and consequences of East Germany’s attempt to create a communist consumer culture during the Cold War. In attempting to compete with capitalism on the West’s terms, East Germany unwittingly bred disgruntled consumers - consumers who ultimately tore down the Wall. Topics covered include gender and consumption, Americanization and Sovietization, women as consumer-citizens, and much more.A rare glimpse into consumerism under state socialism, this book offers unique insights into the Cold War, the dynamics and collapse of communism, and modern consumption.