Accessories and Artefacts:
Women's Lives in Paris 1940–1944
20 May - 15 November 2009
at the Mémorial du Maréchal Leclerc de Hauteclocque et de la Libérat ion de Par is - Musée Jean Moulin
in cooperation with Galliera City of Paris Fashion Museum
Recycling, substitution, imitation
The Parisian Mémorial-Musée exhibits in association with the Galliera City of Paris Fashion Museum 300 fashion items, especially accessories, from the years of occupation (1940-44). During wartimes the restrictions turned fashion designers, tradesmen, manufacturers, and women into experts in the art and craft of recycling and substitution.
fig.: 'Accessories and Artefacts: Women's Lives in Paris 1940–1944' au Mémorial du Mal Leclerc - Musée Jean Moulin Silhouettes, juillet 1943, n° 175 © Galliera / Roger-Viollet.
This was the era of the sling bag and platform shoes with wooden soles; of such imitation
fabrics as rayon and viscose; of unconventional materials like newspaper and wood; and of used car tyres
and offcuts of fabric and leather. The exhibited hats, bags, shoes and other artifacts from the occupied Paris are put into
context with photos, fashion magazines, newsreels and sheet music for popular songs.
Fashion accessories played a major role in terms both of function and the uses they were put to. A scarf
bearing Pétain's portrait served as Vichy propaganda, while the Resistance hid leaflets in bags with false
bottoms and trick linings. So fashion remained a part of everyday life for Parisiennes, from moments of
tragedy to the explosion of joy that came with the Liberation.
About the Mémorial-Musée
Since 1995 the Mémorial-Musée, with the assistance of its advisory committee historians, has been
presenting exhibitions on the Resistance movement, deportation, the Liberation of Paris, and German
opposition to Nazism.
fig.: 'Accessories and Artefacts: Women's Lives in Paris 1940–1944' au Mémorial du Mal Leclerc - Musée Jean Moulin Di Mauro, sandale en daim « Les Quatre Grands » décorée du drapeau des Alliés, 1944 © S. Piera / Galliera / Roger-Viollet.
The sandal shows the four flags of the Allies: British Empire, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United States of America, France.