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UAL Research Online

London squares

Rennie, Paul (2005) London squares. In: Wearing propaganda. Yale University Press, pp. 229-239. ISBN 0-300-10924-5

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Rennie, Paul

This chapter examines printed headscarves as a little-known aspect of British home-front propaganda during WW2. The analysis revealed the special significance of printed headscarves to the female experience of the Home-Front. The scarf was shown to provide an important symbolic element in the story of female emancipation, economic liberation and international fraternity as part of a fashion system supporting Britain’s war effort.

The close examination of historical artefacts allowed the project to investigate issues of production within an environment constrained by economic and material shortages. The use of semiotic elements as part of a developing visual language of propaganda, emancipation, participation and effort reveal the role of the artist-designer to be more significant than previously thought.

The research for this project was sponsored by the Bard Graduate Center, New York. The exhibition and publication was the first to compare and contrast the different approaches to textile propaganda art of WW2. The British scarves offered a chance to look at issues of fashion and cultural production in relation to the specific demands of war propaganda. The powerful symbolic appeal of the scarf was revealed through its context as safety-wear for industrial workers and as evidence of female participation in the war.

Furthermore, the themes and subjects of the scarves reveal an acknowledgement of a growing fraternal exchange between the allies and communities of Fortress Britain. Accordingly, the British orthodoxy of isolated struggle can be viewed from a new perspective.

Official Website: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/contents.asp?isbn=9780300109252
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: RAE2008 UoA63
Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Yale University Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2005
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2009 22:58
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2014 12:42
Item ID: 1549
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1549

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