November, 2020

13NovAll Day11AprSilk and Steel: French Fashion, Women and WWI(All Day) National WWI Museum and Memorial, 2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO 6410


November 13 (Friday) - April 11 (Sunday)


National WWI Museum and Memorial

2 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, MO 6410


Event Details

WWI exploded in the late summer of 1914. Armies took the field in bright uniforms. Navies steamed to sea flying the colors of their nations. For the ensuing years of global war until the peace treaty was signed on June 28, 1919, most history has centered on battles, leaders and destruction.

Throughout this time of global upheaval and a devastating war primarily fought by men, women around the world actively responded to the tumult by accepting, and at times actively pursuing, new responsibilities and roles. French women, like others, worked in war industries, in agriculture, in nursing, in transport, for suffrage and equal pay and respect. In France, recent scholarship has shown that the survival of women’s fashion also played an important role in life during the Great War. Women’s fashion needed to adapt to the necessities of new actions, scarcity of materials and ever-present societal morale needs. The fashion industry, particularly in France, responded.

Silk and Steel feature original dresses, coats, capes, hats, shoes, and accessories. Topics presented are the evolution of the war-time silhouette, Parisian designers during the war, military uniforms’ influence, women’s uniforms in France and America, war work, economics of fashion, and post-war emancipation.

This special exhibition, Silk and Steel: French Fashion, Women and WWI, is presented by the National WWI Museum and Memorial from Sept. 25, 2020 to April 11, 2021 in the Wylie Gallery