Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Those Fashionable Nazis

To the British Troops
By The National Archives UK (To the British Troops)
 [see page for license], via Wikimedia Commons
I know, right? Exactly the sort of thing I usually write about.

As you may have heard, Russell Brand (who manages to look sexy while also looking like he could really use a bath) was at the GQ Awards, sponsored by Hugo Boss and just had to say something on stage about how the company's founder, Hugo Boss himself, designed uniforms for the Nazis

What he said was, "The Nazis did have flaws, but, you know, they did look fucking fantastic, let's face it, while they were killing people on the basis of their religion and sexuality."

Oh yes, he did.

The appalling thing is that he's right about how great they looked. Those uniforms are iconic in fashion and influence movie costumes decades later. Think of the Empire in Star Wars.  And whenever a modern fashion designer says that they're inspired by WW2 uniforms, they don't mean just the Allies' uniforms, although they're too smart to admit it.

Other artists left the country when the Nazis wanted them to work for them (director Fritz Lang, for example). But not Hugo Boss. 
Schülerzeitung Hilf mit Titelseite April 1936
By Heinz-Josef Lücking (eigenes Foto)
 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

And now I'm wondering how it would've affected the war if the Nazis hadn't looked so damn stylish and intimidating.

I mean, just look at that fucker rocking his Hugo Boss designed uniform. There's plenty of speculative fiction focused on WW2, so what if the Nazis couldn't find anyone with a decent sense of style to design their uniforms? Would Hitler have been able to create such a cult of personality if he was dressed a little schlumpy? Can you create effective propaganda without a decent outfit?

We all know that old saw about teams who wear dark uniforms being perceived as more aggressive. What if the alternate universe designer had put the Nazis in a light-colored tweed? They would seem much less terrifying, right?

Would that correlate to less votes, and less power, and therefore no genocide? I have no idea. I'll have to leave that one to people much smarter and more versed in menswear than I am. But I can't even imagine writing a speculative fiction piece in this vein, because the Nazis are nothing without those uniforms. I can't separate the two in my mind. Can you?


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