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The Museum of London searching for vintage Jewish-designed clothing for upcoming exhibit

Chloe Burney
23 January 2023

The Museum of London Docklands is searching for pieces to help to showcase the cultural impact of Jewish designers for its exhibit ‘Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners Shaped Global Style’.

The upcoming exhibition will be held from 13 October 2023 to 14 April 2024. This marks the first time Jewish designers have been recognised for their major contribution in making London an iconic fashion city.

Fashion City will use the places and spaces of London to weave together individual stories with the context of a broader social history. The exhibition will tell stories through the mediums of fashion and textiles, oral histories, objects, ephemera, and photography.

Representing all aspects of the fashion and textile industry throughout the twentieth century, the exhibition will allow visitors to step into the world of a 1960s Carnaby Street shopping boutique and a traditional tailoring workshop from the East End.

Fashion Curator, Lucie Whitmore, commented: “Jewish people were working at all levels of the fashion industry in London throughout the twentieth century but the extent of their contribution has been widely unrecognised.

“Jewish makers established the ready-to-wear industry, worked their way into the highest levels of London fashion, and dominated Carnaby Street in the swinging sixties. Many of these designers were internationally famous – favoured by the rich and famous and highly respected for their creativity, skill, and originality. It’s a contribution that deserves to be recognised.”

fashion city Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger wearing Mr Fish, 1969

Alongside items from the museum’s existing collection, curators are looking for a selection of unique pieces created by leading Jewish designers and worn by high-profile clientele on and off-screen.

The museum is asking people to locate star pieces that will help to highlight the cultural impact and pop culture status of Jewish designers.

Items required include:

  • Mr Fish menswear worn by famous names such as David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Muhammad Ali, and Michael Caine
  • Menswear pieces made by Cecil Gee and worn by members of The Beatles
  • 1930s or 1940s pieces made by Rahvis and worn by Hollywood film stars
  • 1930s gowns made by Madame Isobel
  • Hats made by Otto Lucas and worn by stars such as Greta Garbo or Wallis Simpson
  • Theatre costume made by Neymar for Cecil Landau’s production of Sauce Tartare (1949)

If the location of any of these pieces is known, readers are urged to contact the museum or email [email protected] by 1 March 2023.

Main image: Evening gown by Jewish designer Rhavis, 1947

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