Fashion Meets Socialism
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Fashion Meets Socialism

By Jukka Gronow
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Book Description

This book presents, above all, a study of the establishment and development of the Soviet organization and system of fashion industry and design as it gradually evolved in the years after the Second World War in the Soviet Union, which was, in the understanding of its leaders, reaching the mature or last stage of socialism when the country was firmly set on the straight trajectory to its final goal, Communism. What was typical of this complex and extensive system of fashion was that it was always loyally subservient to the principles of the planned socialist economy. This did not by any means indicate that everything the designers and other fashion professionals did was dictated entirely from above by the central planning agencies. Neither did it mean that their professional judgment would have been only secondary to ideological and political standards set by the Communist Party and the government of the Soviet Union. On the contrary, as our study shows, the Soviet fashion professionals had a lot of autonomy. They were eager and willing to exercise their own judgment in matters of taste and to set the agenda of beauty and style for Soviet citizens.

The present book is the first comprehensive and systematic history of the development of fashion and fashion institutions in the Soviet Union after the Second World War. Our study makes use of rich empirical and historical material that has been made available for the first time for scientific analysis and discussion. The main sources for our study came from the state, party and departmental archives of the former Soviet Union. We also make extensive use of oral history and the writings published in Soviet popular and professional press.

This book is part of the Studia Fennica Historica series.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Introduction
    • Fashion and Soviet modernity
    • Fashion in a centrally planned economy
    • The founding of the Soviet Houses of Fashion
    • Fashion propaganda and the propaganda for fashion
    • Fashion and the satisfaction of human needs
    • Fashion and Soviet decency
    • Inspirations and restrictions
    • Previous studies of fashion under socialism
    • The plan of the book
  • 2. The Formative Years of the Soviet Fashion Industry: from the Russian Revolution to the end of Stalin's Rule
    • The Revolutionary Background of Soviet Fashion and Anti-Fashion
    • The 1930s: The Reanimation of Traditional Fashion
    • The Impact of War on the Soviet Fashion Design and Industry
  • 3. Economic Development and Standard of Living in the USSR after the Second World War: A Consumer’s Perspective
    • Economic growth and consumption
    • Economic-administrative reforms
    • The main peculiarities of the Soviet consumer society
  • 4. The Early Years of the Moscow, All-Union Fashion House
  • 5. The Institutionalization of Soviet Fashion: The System of Clothing Design and Fashion Organizations in the USSR (1960–1980)
    • Four Parallel Organizations
    • The General Structure of the Design Organizations at the Ministry of Light Industry
    • The Center point of Soviet fashion: The All-Union House of Fashion Design, ODMO
    • Standardizing Soviet Clothing Sizes: TsNIIShP and Other Scientific Research and Construction Organizations at the Ministry of Light Industry
    • The Highest Authority of Soviet Fashion: All-Union Institute of Product Assortment and Culture of Dress under the Ministry of Light Industry, VIALegprom
    • Fashion Design in the Garment Enterprises
    • Fashion Design in the Houses of Everyday Services
    • Fashion Designers in the Factories of Everyday Services
    • Special Units of Fashion Design for Centers of Everyday Services
    • The Law Giver of Fashion for the Service Centers: The Experimental Center of Clothing Design, TsOTShL
    • Closer to the Customer: Fashion Design in the Organizations of the Ministry of Local Industry
    • The Differentiation of Soviet Economic Administration
  • 6. Fashion at GUM, the State Department Store at Moscow
    • Fashion under the Ministry of Trade
    • The opening of GUM
    • The Fashion Atelier
    • The Establishment of the Department of Fashion Design in GUM
    • GUM in Search of Its House Style
    • Working Days at the Department of Fashion Design at GUM
    • Publishing Activities at GUM
    • In the Demonstration Hall at GUM
    • The Models: “The Most Difficult Part of the Work”
    • The Call from Abroad
  • 7. The Tallinn House of Fashion Design: A Gateway to the West
    • The Founding of the Tallinn House
    • New Designs and the Artistic Council
    • The Design Practice of the Tallinn House
    • The Economy and Basic Tasks of the House
    • The Siluett Fashion Journal
    • Contacts with the Other Soviet Fashion Houses
    • Fashion Shows and Exhibitions
    • An Almost European House of Fashion
  • 8. Fashion in People’s Minds: The Public Discussion of the Culture of Dress in the Soviet Press
    • Fashion in the Press
    • News and Reports on Seasonal Fashion
    • Vyacheslav Zaitsev – A Celebrity among the Soviet Fashion Designers
    • News about the Fashion Events: From the Domestic Exhibitions and Shows to the Great Achievements of Soviet Fashion in the International Arena
    • Fashion and Customers’ Complaints
    • The Question of the Small Series and firmennye magaziny
    • The Rules of Decency and the Proper Soviet Dress Code
    • The Everlasting Campaign against Bad Taste
    • The Soviet Ideology of Fashion
    • Street Fashion and Youth Fashion
    • Fashion: For or Against
    • The Unanimity and the Diversity of the Public Discussion on Soviet Fashion
  • 9. Conclusion
  • Notes
    • Chapter 1
    • Chapter 2.
    • Chapter 3.
    • Chapter 4.
    • Chapter 5.
    • Chapter 6.
    • Chapter 7.
    • Chapter 8.
    • Chapter 9.
  • Appendices
    • Appendix 1
    • Appendix 2
    • Appendix 3
    • Appendix 4
    • Appendix 5
  • Abstract
  • References
    • Sources
    • Bibliography
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