Wearing Propaganda - Atkins, Jacqueline - Yale University Press

Art and Architecture

Published in association with the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture  

Wearing Propaganda

Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States

  • Jacqueline Atkins
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Protest fashion from the Vietnam War years is widely familiar, but today few are aware that dramatic fashion and textile designs served as patriotic propaganda for the Japanese, British, and Americans during the Asia-Pacific War (19311945). This fabulously illustrated book presents hundreds of examples of how fashion was employed by those on all sides of the conflict to boost morale and fan patriotism.

From a kimono lined with images of U.S. planes blowing up to a British scarf emblazoned with hopeful anti-rationing slogans, Wearing Propaganda documents the development of the role of fashion as propaganda first in Japan and soon thereafter in Britain and the United States. The book discusses traditional and contemporary Japanese styles and what they revealed about Japanese domestic attitudes to war, and it shows how these attitudes echoed or contrasted with British and American fashions that were virulently anti-Japanese in some instances, humorously upbeat about wartime deprivations in others. With insights into style and design, fashion history, material culture, and the social history of Japan, the United States, and Britain, this book offers unexpected riches for every reader.

Jacqueline Atkins is Kate Fowler Merle-Smith Curator of Textiles at Allentown Art Museum and curator of the Bard Graduate Center Wearing Propaganda exhibition.


Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, and Culture, New York (November 18, 2005 - February 5, 2006)