The Dressmakers of Auschwitz

Thursday 30 September | 7 - 8:30pm | £5 | ONLINE EVENT

Join British dress historian Lucy Adlington as she presents her deeply powerful and intricately detailed new book, The Dressmakers of Auschwitz. Drawing from eyewitness interviews and original garments from the era, Lucy will present a remarkable tale of resilience, camaraderie and dressmakingin the most extreme of circumstances.

The Dressmakers of Auschwitz recounts the remarkable story of the 25 young, mainly Jewish women, who were picked from the general population of the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, to design, cut and sew beautiful fashions for ‘elite’ Nazi women. The Upper Tailoring Studio, the dedicated salon which which the women worked, was established by Hedwig Höss, the camp commandant’s wife, and patronized by the wives of SS guards and officers. Here, the dressmakers produced high-quality garments for SS social functions in Auschwitz, and for ladies from Nazi Berlin’s upper class.

Lucy Adlington follows the fates of these brave women and shows how their bonds of family and friendship not only helped them endure persecution, but also to play their part in camp resistance. Weaving the dressmakers’ remarkable experiences within the context of Nazi policies of plunder and exploitation, Lucy Adlington exposes the greed, cruelty, and hypocrisy of the Third Reich, offering a fresh look at a little-known chapter of World War II and the Holocaust.

“Lucy Adlington tells of the horrors of the Nazi occupation and the concentration camps from a fascinating and original angle. She introduces us to a little-known aspect of the period, highlighting the role of clothes in the grimmest of societies imaginable and giving an insight into the women who stayed alive by stitching.” - Alexandra Shulman

Lucy Adlington is a British dress historian with more than twenty years’ experience researching social history. Adlington runs History Wardrobe, a company which presents costume in context talks across the UK. Her nonfiction publications include Women’s Lives and Clothes in WWII: Ready for Action and Stitches in Time the Story of the Clothes we Wear.

Price: £5

This talk will take place on the streaming platform Microsoft Teams Live, details of how to access the talk will be included in your booking confirmation. You will receive a unique link via email prior to the event, if you are planning to use a smartphone or tablet you will need to download the Microsoft Teams App which can be found for free in your devices App Store. Please ensure you are using the most recent operating system on your device and you can access Microsoft Teams to ensure you have the best experience.  Please note the tickets sales cut-off for this event is 2 hours before the start time.  

The talk starts at 7pm and lasts for approximately 1.5 hours, followed by a Q&A session at the end.  

Online Events take place live at the time and date specified above. A recording of the Online Event is not included in the purchase of your ticket. If you are unavailable at the time and date above, please keep an eye on our Events on Demand, where all recordings that meet our quality specifications will be available to purchase in due course. 

If you have any questions regarding this talk, please get in touch.

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