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Show celebrates how women stayed stylish in communist Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 19.12.2015 13:05
The National Museum in Kraków has launched a major new exhibition that reveals how women sought to keep up with western trends in spite of the drawbacks of life in communist Poland.
Photo: National Museum in Kraków/press materialsPhoto: National Museum in Kraków/press materials

Despite difficulties in procuring fashionable items, women were determined to look attractive and follow fashion, and to the dismay of authorities looked up to the West for inspiration,” the curators note.

The radical New Look that was pioneered by French fashion house Dior in 1947 coincided with the installation of a Stalinist regime in Poland via a rigged general election that year.

The authorities tried to counteract the influence of the 'rotten' West and promote utilitarian and egalitarian clothes... but women adopted the New Look and modified it according to their needs and tastes.

The current exhibition, which was jointly created by staff from the National Museum's branches in Kraków and Wrocław, includes many homemade garments which testify to the ingenuity of Polish women in trying times, including a dress sewn from a parachute.

The show likewise presents clothing created by Polish fashion designers, running all the way through to 1989. Notable names include Jadwiga Grabowska, Jerzy Antkowiak, Kalina Paroll and Grażyna Hase.

'Fashionable in Communist Poland' can be visited at the National Museum in Kraków until 17 April 2016. (nh/pk)

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