TRADE 1900-1990’s

Fashion is Economics

Prior to 1900Free Trade was the exception and protectionism the rule.  Why?  custom duties were a source of significant share of federal revenues.   Protection of manufactured good against foreign competition (esp. England)

Silk Road, East India Company, Dutch East India Company,

World War I   American manufacturers and workers begin to see foreign industrial countries as potential markets to as great a degree as they saw them potential competitors.

World War I brought heavy borrowing from the United States by the Allied powers of Britain and France, a large surplus of exports over imports, and the rapid transformation of the United States from a debtor to a creditor nation

The tariff made imported capital goods more expensive, and presumably raised the price of domestic capital goods that were substitutes for imports as well. A high-tariff economy is a lower investment economy; a lower capital stock economy; and a lower wage economy.

The Great DepressionSmoot -Hawley Tariff

World War II  – dominant political constellation in both political parties was close to what we see today. The dominance of protectionist pressures in the United States was gone. And pressures for increased protection have, for the most part, remained relatively dormant for nearly half a century. Opposition to free trade has usually focused on preventing further liberalization—and not on rolling back liberalization that had previously taken place.

The United States shifts from manufactures importing to manufactures-exporting economy, and a high level of protection for manufactured goods becomes a less and less important politico-economic goal.

GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 

WOOL The woolen manufacturers of Boston, organized the first trade association, engaged in what was certainly one of the first formal lobbying efforts, and lodged the first unfair trade practice claims in 1826. Boston’s woolen manufacturers claimed that British exporters were understating the value of their goods—thus evading a substantial part of the 33 1/3 percent ad valorem tariff in effect. The woolen manufacturers asked for a minimum valuation of 40 cents a yard on wool imports, and for an imposed minimum valuation of $2.50 a yard on woolen goods worth more than 40 cents a yard. The effect of the woolen manufacturers’ proposals would have been to keep—in the letter of the law—the 33 1/3 percent ad valorem rate, but to charge an average tariff of approximately 80 percent on woolen goods imports.

Trade Agreements 

Short-Term Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Cotton Textiles (STA) 1961-62

Long-Term Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Cotton Textiles (LTA), 1962-73.

signatories can impose quantitative restrictions to avoid “market disruption”

“two important ideas [were] especially strongly held in the United States, namely (i) that textiles were somehow special and fully deserving of exemption from general liberalization and (ii), a closely related idea, that without protection the industry could hardly survive

The protectionist idea was reinforced when Japan applied for accession to the GATT in 1955. Many countries worried about the potential of Japan, which was dramatically expanding exports of cotton textiles. As Sampson argues, “restraining all suppliers would require restraint of more economically powerful countries and could prompt retaliatory action

MFA  Multi Fiber Agreement  1974-2004  QUOTAS 

The MFA affects consumers in importing countries by increasing prices of both domestic and imported T&C products. Exporting countries are affected by a reduction in export opportunity.

The MFA contributes to the economic development of unrestricted or less restricted developing countries, which are often poorer than the restricted developing countries that are major T&C exporters, by encouraging foreign investment in the less restricted countries.

Because the MFA gives only a framework for world T&C trade and actual restrictions are imposed by either unilateral or bilateral quotas, the severity of MFA restrictions depends on the administration of the individual quotas.

As the GATT (1984) pointed out, the period under MFA I (January 1974-December 1977) was characterized by a period of “relative liberalization” of trade in textiles and clothing. During this time, many previous restrictions were abolished

MFA II (January 1978-December 1981) proved more restrictive, primarily because of European Community (Ec) initiatives. During the period under MFA I, the EC’s T&C imports dramatically in- creased, possibly because T&C exports from developing countries shifted to the EC from the United States, where a comprehensive system of bilateral restriction had been set up in 1971. This increase occurred during a time of economic recession and high unemployment after the first oil crisis.

The MFA also affects trade patterns. Because the MFA consists of discriminatory quotas, it can divert trade from more restricted to less restricted countries.

Kumar and McLeod (1981) affirm that the MFA encourages foreign direct investment in nonrestricted and less restricted developing countries. When major T&C exporters (Hong Kong and Korea, for example) realized that MFA restrictions imposed on them would continue for years, they tried to set up plants in other countries. T&C firms in Hong Kong invested in other Asian countries, including China.

The MFA has four important short-term effects on exporting developing countries: (a) the forgoing of exports, (b) the transfer of quota rents, (c) the shift to unrestricted exporters, and (d) the up- grading of products. Most studies on the effects of the MFA on exporting developing countries cover the transferred quota rent and the change in export revenue under the MFA quota. These studies show that the forgone exports revenue and transferred quota rents are huge.

NAFTA North America Free Trade Agreement



1992 Aug 11
In Washington, D.C., negotiators for the United States, Canada and Mexico continued to work out final details of the proposed North American Free Trade Agreement.
Links: CanadaUSAMexicoDCNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1992 Aug 12
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was announced in Washington, D.C. after 14 months of negotiations between the United States, Mexico and Canada. It created the world’s wealthiest trading bloc.
Links: CanadaUSAMexicoNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1992 Oct 7
Trade representatives of the United States, Canada and Mexico initialed the North American Free Trade Agreement during a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas.
Links: CanadaUSAMexicoTexasNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1992 Dec 17
President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari signed the North American Free Trade Agreement in separate ceremonies.
Links: CanadaUSAMexicoBushHWNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 May 27
The Canadian House of Commons approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Links: CanadaNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Nov 4
The White House challenged Ross Perot to a debate on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Vice President Al Gore; Perot, calling it “a desperate move,” quickly accepted.
Links: USANAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Nov 7
President Clinton, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” assailed labor leaders who opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement, accusing them of using “naked pressure” to try to kill the pact.
Links: USAClintonBNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Nov 9
Vice President Al Gore and Ross Perot debated the North American Free Trade Agreement on CNN’s Larry King Live.
Links: USANAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Nov 13
President Clinton used his weekly radio address to make yet another pitch for the North American Free Trade Agreement, then flew to Memphis, Tenn., where he delivered an anti-crime speech to black ministers at the Temple Church of God in Christ.
Links: USATennesseeClintonBNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Nov 17
By a surprisingly wide margin, 234-200, the House of Representatives voted to approve legislation implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement in what was seen as a major political victory for President Clinton.
Links: USAClintonBNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Nov 20
The U.S. Senate ended a filibuster against the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases, and passed it by a 63-36 vote; the Senate also approved legislation implementing the North American Free Trade Agreement, 61-38.
Links: USAGunsNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Nov 22
Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly approved the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Links: USAMexicoNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
1993 Dec 8
President Clinton signed into U.S. law the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which went into effect at the start of 1994.
Links: USAClintonBNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
2006 Mar 30
Pres. Bush arrived in Cancun, Mexico, for 2 days of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) talks with Canadian PM Stephen Harper and Mexico’s Pres. Fox.
Links: CanadaUSAMexicoBushGWNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
2006 Mar 31
President Bush, closing a three-nation NAFTA summit, defended requiring secure documents from border-crossing Canadians and pushed Mexico to prevent more of its people from illegally entering America.

Links: CanadaUSAMexicoBushGWNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
2006 Apr 7
The US Court of International Law ruled that US Customs violated a provision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in applying a law known as the Byrd amendment to antidumping and countervailing duties on goods from Canada and Mexico.
Links: CanadaUSAMexicoNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
2009 Jun 2
Mexican truckers filed a lawsuit against the United States seeking $6 billion in compensation for losses they claim to have suffered since Washington banned them from crossing the border in violation of a trade pact. Mexico’s National Cargo Transportation Association, or Canacar, filed the lawsuit representing 4,500 trucking companies. Canacar had filed an arbitration notice with the US State Department under the NAFTA in April.
Links: USAMexicoLawsuitNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
2011 Oct 21
A Mexican tractor-trailer crossed into the US for the first time under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed in 1994.
Links: USAMexicoNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event
2017 Feb 3
Mexico began a 90-day consultation on what its NAFTA negotiating position should be.
Links: MexicoNAFTA     Click to see the source(s) for this event

WTO  World Trade Organization 







Fashion at the Edge II

Alexander McQueen

Nihilism 1994  Nihilism: “Life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.”


For his first staged runway show, Lee McQueen presented models that appeared to have been victims of a car wreck, or in the eyes of some reviewers, abuse. They walk down the runway spattered in what appears to be blood or dirt, and wear pants cut so low on the hip that they reveal the top of the models’ bottoms

Highland Rape 1995   info Highland Rape,” which introduced the world not only to the designer’s trademark bumster pants, but also to his fierce national pride. The models’ torn garments and bloodied bodies ignited a fury, but this was no endorsement of rape, it was an exploration of Scotland’s turbulent history with England.

McQ.215a, b_mcq.202.AV0

Dante 1996 Dante was shown in a candle-lit church in Spitalfields, London with a skeleton seated front row. Beauty and blasphemy were woven throughout this wide-ranging collection  AMcQ experimented with denim and Victoriana, tropes that he would return to again and again.


La Poupee 1997 The Doll. Inspired by the artist Hans Bellmer, who fetishistically rearranged toy dolls, McQueen experimented with proportion and, more disturbingly, trussed the models in various metal restraints.

McQ 'SS '97

Creating an art piece 1999 This show was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, and it ended with the model Shalom Harlow rotating on a turntable, wearing a white dress, being spray-painted by two industrial robots. Shalom Harlow trained as a ballerina. It is often said that the inspiration behind the collection was the dying swan



Martin Margiela Bio documentary 


FW 1992



Maison Martin Margiela - S-S 1997 Margielaform_semicouture



Hussein Chalayan

Wood Bodice



Fall/Winter 1998

Spring 1998


Spring 1999


Autumn / Winter 2000

Fear and Fashion

Democratic vs. communist / socialist

Space suit  


Frank Horvat, American Man and woman in spacesuits.  1963. Photograph 

2001 a Space Odyssey

SOURCE CREDIT - "British Film Institute" Reproduction of this image requires the appropriate copyright clearance. In making this image available, the bfi confers no licence to use or copy the image. All copyright clearance is the responsibility of the user. In consideration for making this image available, the user hereby agrees to indemnify the bfi against any claim or liability arising from the use of this image. The information service of the bfi National Library may be able to carry out copyright ownership research on your behalf. Fax +44 (0) 20 7436 0165 for details of services and costs. British Film Institute 21 Stephen Street London W1T 1LN Tel +44 (0) 20 7255 1444


Rudi Gernreich


clothing with Armor, 1960’s

1967 Fashion Show


Early 1970’s right after Apollo moon walk.

Peggy Moffitt In Rudi G

Paco Rabanne 

Fashion Show


1960’s metal dress Casino Royal



Barbarella costumes  Paco R and Jacques Fonteray  1968


Jane Fonda as Barbarella 1968


Roger Vadim preparing Jane Fonda’s outfit in Barbaarella 1967


Pierre Cardin – Cosmocorps





Fashion Show 1969

Fashion Show 1970


Alice Edeling: tunic and boots, metallic fabric, late 1960’s.  The Netherlands.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 9.41.18 AM




Emilio Pucci “space bubble” 1965




Andre Courreges   inventor of the mini dress





André Courrèges - Space Age (2)

1970 Fashion Video  Space age video


Gijs Bakker


Polly Magoo


Haus Rucker co 1967



Wearing Propaganda

Wearing Propaganda: 1931-45 Textiles and apparel on the home front in Japan, Britain and United States.

As well as casting new light on wartime propaganda methods, it provides fascinating insights into the divergent attitudes towards patriotism and war in the three countries in question

The contrast between the personal, intimate nature of these garments, including various types of kimono, obi (sash) and haori (jacket) and their strident nationalistic imagery was startling

Whereas all the British and American textiles were either roller-printed by machine, or screen-printed or block-printed by hand, the Japanese employed a variety of techniques, including kasuri, where the warp is printed, rather than the cloth, resulting in blurred effects. Many kimonos were produced as one-offs. Some were hand-painted rather than printed; many were decorated using stencils, paste-resists and dyes, a process known as yüzen.

Part 1: Setting the Context 1931-1945

Asia Pacific War begins with Manchurian Incident in 1931  Japan gains power, sees itself a modern

Hitler on the Rise in Germany

Britain 1939 declares war on Germany

US Pearl Harbor 1941

Propaganda on the Home Fronts:

Visual Propaganda, appeals to emotions vs. intellect



Homefront: morale and motivation are lost, commitment to battle soon follows.

Propaganda involves: a sender, a message, a receiver, a purpose, a medium and an effect.

Includes: national visual culture, popular, and material culture: posters, cartoons, leaflets, advertising, cinema, radio and news media to get the message across.

Agitation propaganda – call to action

Integration propaganda – substituting one framework for another war to peace, moral, social, and intellectual indoctrination.

V is for Victory

V4victory 004

Propaganda textiles were worn in Japan by adults and children, and used for traditional clothing such as kimono, obi, nagajuban, haori, and in accessories haneri, furoshiki, tenugui, and furoshiki.


Furoshiki were favored as military mementos’ and were made with designs referencing specific military units or events.

Tenugui were made for household use, zabuton and futon.

Represent traditional masculine attributes: power, bravery and loyalty.

Koinobori – carp banner flown for boy’s holidays


Kobuto – samurai helmets


Gosho ningyo – doll figure



American and British propaganda textiles were made into dress goods for women’s accessories, such as handkerchiefs and scarves.  For men ties were the logical place.

Propaganda Precedents – pre 1930’s


Bedcover, “the apotheosis of Benjamin Franklin and George Washington” Britain ca. 1785


Handkerchief, “Playing Soldiers” Britain 1880.


Dress yardage “the Union Forever” 1861-65. Printed cotton.


Kerchief. “remember the Maine” 1898.


Japan, 1894 war board game.


Short Silk Juban, 1905.


Russo-Japanese War Surrender, Japan 1905.  Kimono Fabric, early 20th century.

Part 2: Visual Culture of War

Japan’s Beautiful Modern War


Childs Kimono detail. 1937

IMG_2247 (1)

1930’s Japanese government posters


Potatoes are Protective, Too


Textile: Battle of Britain. 1940.

Ministry of Food Ad. 1943.

Cover of Boo-Boo barrage Balloon.  1940.

Barrage balloons used the largest stretches of textiles in Britain during WWII.  Riveting home front icon.  Lowly potatoes come into play as a stand in balloon.


Dress.  Happy Landings.  Designed by Arnold Lever 1940.

Woman versus man became enemy versus ally.


Kerchief “keep it dark” 1940

Dress detail: mosaic of “you never know who’s listening” 1940’s.


An American Vision Doing our part.




Broadside and poster


Pincushion “hotzi notzi” 1941


Part 3: Wearing Propaganda: fashion, textiles and morale on the home front.

Extravagance is the enemy


Woman’s Haori.  “the thrill of the flight” late 1920’s – early 1930’s

Narrow width weaving


Childs Haregi. “images of war” late 1930’s

Meisen Kimono

Give up dresses and kimono and wear a Monpe, make up and permanent waves were banned in 1939.


Cotton shortage, wool requisitioned for military clothing and blankets, silk only textile not imported and was also channeled into war good.

National guidelines for dress –  the committee for reform of national dress, from ministries of army, commerce, agriculture and imperial household affairs.

Outline for Implementing Simplified Wartime Clothing Habits. Greater regulation of styles and created a new mode know as “reformed western dress”  Monpe only garment generally adapted.

1942 High fashion non-existent due to shortages.


boy’s summer kimono “running soldiers” 1940’s.

Design and War: Kimono as “Parlor Performance” Propaganda.

Japans military might is projected toward Korea and China.


Furoshiki “war in china”  Kimono fabric 1930’s.

Children’s Kimono’s appeal to the child as well as the adults who see them and require less material than an adults Kimono.

Modern design in clothing was manifested in two ways during wartime:  the kimono with war-promoting designs and the designs for standardized clothing.  Civilian uniforms for men (kokuminfuku) and women (hyojunfuku) represent propaganda on a grander scale because they were sanctioned and promoted by the government.

Principe motifs of the Kimono:

Armaments (battleships, airplanes, tanks, sabers, bayonets, bombs, artillery)


The national flag, military flags, army and navy badges, golden kite medal


Battlefield scenes


Victory celebrations

Manchukuo themes

Axis-Alliance celebration


Rich nation, strong army and industrial development


Man’s Nagujuban, 1939-41

Military deities


Keeping up on the home front morale: beauty and duty in wartime Britain

“the peoples war”

Austerity and appearances – downplay the instabilities and paradoxes thrown up by the changing definition of a woman.    Show solidarity by adopting a more austere look.


It’s a women’s duty to keep themselves looking their best.  “Looking good” lifts spirits.

Utility clothing scheme: state regulated program for the production, pricing, and rational of clothes, entitled everyone to basic but limited amounts of clothing at fair prices through ha coupon system of payment.


Utility Suit gray harringbone wool. Britain 1942


Utility clothing was regarded as fashionable as clothing produced outside the systems looked like that produced with in.

Making do and Making over




Berketex Utility range of dresses. Britain 1942

Beauty a duty – for women who joined the women’s services between 1939-1945.



Make up







Propaganda prints



Dress Fabric and jacket. Britain 1940




London Squares: the scarves of wartime Britain.



Showing the colors of America:

Fashion Center shifts to US.

Uncle Sam assumed roll of fashion designer.


Sweeping restrictions aim to save 15% of the yardage now used in women’s and girl’s apparel.  Restricted hems and belts. Dresses shorter and tighter.  Men’s suits made without vests and pockets. Wool, metal zippers, rubber, leather (cork wedges)


two-toned clothing, make with patched together clothing

Production of Hemp is encouraged.

Nylon was missed, women stood in line for hours.

Feed sack fabric






Propaganda Textiles 


Aeroplane Kimono 1930’s


Kimono and Obi 1930’s


Modern Military, 1930’s


Childs Vest, Printed muslin. 1930’s.


woman’s haori. 1930’s


Boy’s Kimono 1938-40


Military Man Kimono 1930’s


Obi.  Marching soldiers. 1930’s


Baby’s haori. “fighting machines” 1930’s.


Girls Naregi.  1941


boy’s haori. 1940’s


boys haori. 1940’s.

Scarves – United States





Victory Yardage 1940’s.