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German History in Documents and Images
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Striped Bathing Suit (1925)
Fashion played an important role in defining modern femininity and the so-called New Woman [neue Frau] of the Weimar era. The pageboy haircut [Bubikopf] reached Germany in the early 1920s and was immediately controversial. Conservatives saw it as a sign of cultural decline, liberals as a symbol of modernity and emancipation. New women’s fashions promised sexual liberation, social mobility, and an escape from the confinements of tradition. Berlin, the center of both the fashion industry and the illustrated press, was alternatively glorified and vilified as the embodiment of the modern.