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by Brittany Matsushita, staff writer

The Honolulu Academy of Arts will display a new exhibit featuring a collection of outerwear, Wearing Propaganda: Textiles on the Home Front in Japan, Britain, and the United States.

Over 100 works of art will be on display from February 8-April 29, and will illustrate how textile design helped to promote wartime agendas in the three countries. The exhibit is open for public viewing and will include clothing, accessories, textiles samples, cartoons, posters, photographs, and textile designs. This will be the first time this material from the Asia-Pacific war and World War II will be on display and some have never before been photographed.

Propaganda textiles from Japan were mostly worn by men and young boys while the garments in the United States and in Britain were worn exclusively by women. The propaganda textiles used for men’s garments appeared in traditional clothing and were designs that were hidden from public view, such as the linings of jackets. Women from the West wore their propaganda garments as blouses, headscarves, and dresses.

The use of national symbols are closely related to the concept of patriotism, such as the national flag, which is most common. Propaganda still exists today in many of the garments we wear daily. For example, the Fourth of July is the most common holiday that displays patriotism in the U.S. with the national flag, however 9/11 brought the biggest turnout and support of American patriotism. A concept that started over 200 years ago is now a fashion statement that is in use for national holidays.



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