If you haven’t been yet and you love 1930s fashion – you need to go. The current exhibition at The Fashion & Textile Museum (83 Bermondsey Street, London) is simply astonishing. I was in fashion heaven.

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The 1930s is my all time favourite decade for fashion and design. It has been since i was a child and led me to the ultimate conclusion that i was probably born in the wrong era and wrong class! There is something dreamy about the decade – this was of course the time when Hollywood movies were at their height and portrayed a world designed to distract from the depression. Would we all love to dress for breakfast, change for afternoon tea and then don a fabulous evening gown for dinner with the local elite 😉 Of course this wasn’t reality but Im sure we all have been more than happy to take part in the imagination at times! Fashion, as always, reflected this dream state. The era of the Bias cut, sumptuous fabrics, chic design – long and elegant dresses cut in increasingly intricate ways.

I love this museum and went to see the 1920s fashion exhibition a year previous. My expectations were high but i wasn’t disappointed. We were presented with an amazing array of exquisite 1930s evening gowns arranged by colour – starting with black and white, into reds and jewel colours then to the pales and finally settling on a delicious collection of metallic fabric evening wear too…. I really enjoyed how the garments were displayed and it really made you feel emmersed in a world of cocktail parties and upmarket soirees! My favourite dress of all time is pictured on the left below – a divine chartreuse green floor length gown with bias cut panels (see the faint stripe through the fabric…) swoon!

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Daywear was similarly arranged into colour and featured some amazing art deco prints and accessories. Of course there were beach pyjamas and sportswear sets which were just becoming popular and accepted in the 1930s. Tea dresses in stunning prints and in various colours. Afternoon dresses in delicate pastel prints with the iconic accented shoulders. Suits and practical daywear – similarly elegant and beautifully designed.

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Then there were the accessories….Belts and buckles (i will be sharing some exciting news on buckles soon), hats, jewellery.

The exhibition culminated in a collection of 30 Cecil Beaton photographs. He, along with John French and Lee Miller, is one of my all time favourite photographers. What a treat!

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Unfortunately i only had an hour or two but we could have stayed there all day. Don’t even get me started on the shop!!!

The exhibition is on until January 20th 2019 – details here: https://www.ftmlondon.org

An essential visit for any 1930s fashion fan.

November 8th, 2018

Posted In: 1930s Fashion, Art Deco Design

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