The Fashion and Textile Museum’s winter exhibition will explore 1930s fashion and photographs

10 July 2018
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Ernest Bachrach: Michèle Morgan, 1939
Private Collection

The Fashion and Textile Museum have announced their Winter 2018 exhibition, Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs. Presented thematically, the exhibition will feature over “a hundred ensembles across nine different themes”. The 1930s saw the end of the roaring twenties. After the financial crash of 1929, an economic depression spread globally, ushering in the “utilitarianism of World War II”.

As “the flapper grew up, so too did her fashion”, and this exhibition sees a selection of long and elegant evening dresses, in comparison to the shorter cut seen before. “Created in satins and crepes, and adorned with diamantes”, the “extended lines and the placement of seams accentuate the fashionable svelte figure”. The exhibition is set amongst a variety of daytime and nighttime scenes, where the viewer will journey from the nightclub into sprawling suburbia. “Garden parties, seaside visits and sporting outings provided the quintessential backdrop to daytime fashion”.

With the rise in consumer culture and the department store, the exhibition will explore the range of changes to how people shopped and what they bought, including the broader acceptance of female-worn trousers. Using style and culture to bring the period’s social politics into clearer focus, Night and Day will present the most important day and evening fashions of the decade, complemented “by iconic photographs of the stars who championed them”.

Situated in the Small Gallery, to coincide with the main exhibition, will be a selection of Cecil Beaton’s photography. Renowned as one of the “greatest visual chroniclers of the Twentieth Century”, this exhibit includes some of his most famous portraits.


Woman wearing sheer evening gown.
Courtesy of Old Visuals/Everett Collection/Mary Evans Picture Library.


Cecil Beaton: Portrait of the Soapsuds Group,1930.
The Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s


Scotty Welbourne: Ruby Keeler finds bicycling a great sport, 1934
Private Collection

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