Museum of London Docklands calls for iconic Jewish fashion pieces - Museums Association

Museum of London Docklands calls for iconic Jewish fashion pieces

Deadline of 1 March for garments to go into major exhibition on Jewish fashion designers
fashion Temporary Exhibition
David Bowie in the dress designed by Mr Fish that the Museum of London Docklands would love to track down
David Bowie in the dress designed by Mr Fish that the Museum of London Docklands would love to track down © Trinity Mirror, Mirrorpix, Alamy Stock Photo

The Museum of London Docklands is on the hunt for lost fashion pieces to go into its major autumn exhibition, Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners Shaped Global Style (13 October 2023 to 14 April 2024).

The exhibition will tell the story of London’s Jewish fashion designers who have made style what it is today, from tailors in the East End tailors and down Savile Row to those who founded essential high street retail chains.

But there are some gaps the museum would love to fill, namely these pieces of fashion history:

  • Menswear pieces made by Mr Fish (Michael Fish) worn by celebrities such as Sean Connery, Mick Jagger, Muhammad Ali and Michael Caine, including the dress that singer David Bowie wore for the album cover of The Man Who Sold the World
  • Menswear made by Cecil Gee and worn by stars such The Beatles
  • 1930s or 1940s womenswear by Rahvis worn by Hollywood film stars
  • Hats made by Otto Lucas and worn by actress Greta Garbo or Wallis Simpson, the then duchess of Windsor
  • Theatre costume made by Neymar for Cecil Landau’s 1949 production of Sauce Tartare
  • 1930s gowns made by dressmaker Madame Isobel (Isobel Spevak Harris)

Anyone who has information about the location of these objects are asked to email fashioncity@museumoflondon.org.uk with any information. The call is open until 1 March.

Lucie Whitmore, the fashion curator for the Museum of London Docklands, said:  “Jewish people were working at all levels of the fashion industry in London throughout the 20th 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.”

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