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Fashionable in mourning

In May, an article appeared in The Sun of Russia, a magazine for wealthy people, in which pre-war criticism of fashion was combined with speculations about profiteers and wasteful consumption. Its author N. Shebuev began with the fact that the war years became a time of "crazy motivation", especially in large cities of Russia. The lack of new models of dresses and fabrics has led some Russian women to become obsessed with fashionable clothes. Shebuev was particularly annoyed by the idea that some ladies want to dress in tinsel and rags when others wear mourning or the form of nurses. Women were faithful to the fashion "before losing consciousness," as a result of which the Duma was about to introduce a ban on the import of luxury goods. According to Shebuyev, one of the members of the Duma decided to declare luxury a crime. Even in Paris, the world capital of fashion, women prefer modesty to luxury. In Russia, the “dressmakers” misinterpret the latest fashion, which their customers are not even aware of. It is tailors who encourage ladies to dress extravagantly in order to receive more money from this. Thus, Shebuev repeats the words of Yelets about the madness and emotional imbalance of women and accuses them of being easy prey for wartime speculators - tailors. The only way to stop these unprincipled artisans and return women to a rational existence is to wage war against wasteful consumption. Without access to Western models, tailors will not be able to attract enough buyers to recoup their work. From Shebuyev’s point of view, women are enthusiastic, frivolous creatures who do not have power over themselves. They are thoughtlessly indulging in fashion, while their country is bogged down in a heavy war. The real villains were tailors and seamstresses who had neither shame nor conscience. While Russian men were dying on the battlefield, the income of the fashionistas was growing. That is why it was necessary to declare war on fashion and punish women and tailors.
Government officials had their own reasons for supporting the trade embargo. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the Bublikov bill, the Council of Ministers created a special subcommittee. One of its members was M. Langovoi, who believed that Russia needed to introduce a ban on imports from all countries, and not just from Germany. For him, the aim of the war was the complete deliverance of Russia from foreigners. Although the rest of the committee agreed with Langov, they were worried about the consequences of the ban on goods of Russia's military allies, primarily France and Italy. However, although Russia thus violated trade agreements with both countries, the committee members decided to look at it blindly, announcing that the needs of wartime were higher than previously concluded agreements. From the discussions that took place between representatives of various government-priority industries, it becomes clear that officials, like the entrepreneurs who proposed the bill, sought to establish a favorable balance in trade with Western Europe, reduce imports and provide more protection to some industries at that time when Russia moved from a wartime economy to a peaceful existence. On September 13, 1916, the Council of Ministers approved
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