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How the fashion industry adapted to these restriction and shortages during WW2 - Research Paper Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: World War II had far reaching effect on the world fashion industry; this was after the Nazis took over Paris (which was the center for fashion in the world) back in June 14th 1940. This saw the closure of many fashion houses and top designers either retired or went into exile…
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How the fashion industry adapted to these restriction and shortages during WW2
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Download file to see previous pages But this was short-lived, because America entry to war in 1941 saw Government restriction on civilian access to food and critical materials due to the needs of the armed forces and war production. The adoption of restriction rules in America was different from other countries, the responsibility of clothing rationing was on manufactures rather than civilian, Stanley Marcus was the head of the textile division of the WPB and he essentially froze the silhouette of the time by restricting the amount of fabric that could be used to create garment to its 1941 amount. Rules for clothing industry were created such as Limitation Order-85(L-85). The following are some of the restriction imposed by the L-85 order. 1. For blouses. No hoods, If tucking or pleating is used, ruffling could not be used and vice versa. There was to be no more than one pocket, inside or out, and no patch pocket using more than 25 inches of material. 2. In relations to coats, There was to be no bi-swing or Norfolk type backs, No epaulets or tabs on the shoulders, Sleeve circumference is limited to 16.5 inches. 3. Skirts/ suits and play suits. Hem circumference reduced from 81 inches to 78 for misses’ size 16 made non-wool fabrics of 9 ounce weight or less. No culottes, reversible skirt, quilted skirts or skating skirts. 4. Dresses. No more than 2 buttons were allowed and 2 buttonholes for each cuff, No quilting using more than 300 square inches, People were limited to only 3 pairs of leather footwear per year. This was in order to regulate the uncontrolled demand as there was shortage of leather and manpower as well as military demand. Items of clothing such as shoes came under direct rationing; others fell under indirect rationing as a result of strict restriction being imposed upon manufacturers and wholesalers by the War Production Board, (WPB) program for conservation of strategic materials. Nylon production for instance was directed to military use in February 1942. It was used in parachutes. Rubber and leather was reserved for the military use. Cotton was not restricted immediately but the heavy military demand and changing of cotton fields into crop production and the poor cotton crop later during the war affected greatly its supply. Silk materials that came from the east became scarce due to cessation of overseas shipping. Rubber controls were significantly tightened during the war due to the high military demand. By February 1942, U.S had been cut from 90% of its natural rubber supply. However, the American fashion industry adopted measures, companies like Sears, Roebuck & co, offered shoes for other rationing coupons, other companies like Lane Bryant advertised “Non-Rationed Shoes) which were non- leather and were also wedge style or combination of the two. The ‘Wedge Shoe’ gained popularity during World War 2; it was originally created by Salvatore Ferragamo in 1935, it was made from cork sole and natural fiber for the upper part. The shoe utilized such materials as hemp, felt, and raffia plaited cellophane and crocheted. Silk was substituted with nylon but later on, it became needed for making parachutes. Shortage of stockings made women to resort for trousers which were adopted by the young and the working classes. The L-85 restriction order made American designers who were eager to make a place in the fashion world, not being allowed a large margin for their originality. Modifications were made to shorten the length of skirts, ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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