New book explores history of fashion in Berlin

In her recent book, Berliner Chic: A Locational History of Berlin Fashion, York humanities Professor Susan Ingram explores the emergence of Berlin as a fashion capital against a backdrop of politics, ideology and war.

The launch of Berliner Chic (Intellect Books, 2011) will take place Wednesday, Feb. 2, from 4 to 6pm in the Senior Common Room, 010 Vanier College, Keele campus. Everyone is welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.

Ingram, who is affiliated with the Canadian Centre for German & European Studies and the Research Group on Translation & Transcultural Contact, co-authored the book with alumna Katrina Sark (MA ’06), who also earned a Canadian Centre for German & European Studies (CCGES) graduate diploma at York.

Since becoming the capital of reunited Germany, Berlin has had a dose of global money and international style added to its already impressive cultural veneer. It is now a fashion showplace that attracts the young and hip.

Left: Susan Ingram

The book looks at fashion as it developed through a series of historical eras and events, including the confusion surrounding the split and reunification of East and West Germany, an unsuccessful effort to launch a fashion museum and the debut of Berlin Fashion Week in 2007. It explores the line between fashion and photography, its presence on the silver screen, the flux of corporate luxe and the state of fashion today.

Prior to York, Ingram lectured in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong and has taught in Germany and Poland. She is the author of Zarathustra’s Sisters: Women’s Autobiography and the Shaping of Cultural History (University of Toronto Press, 2003). She also co-edited a series of volumes on the mutually constitutive cross-cultural constructions of Central Europe and North America.

The launch is presented by CCGES and the Office of the Master of Vanier College.

For more information, visit the CCGES website. Attendees are asked to register in advance at