Two exhibitions in London explore 1930’s fashion
Michele Morgan photographed by Ernest Bacharach , circa 1939 , private collection
The stock market crash in October 1929, and the subsequent Great Depression in the United States, and the emergence of Nazism and Fascism in Europe ushered in a decade that witnessed incredible political and social changes across the Western world that would later affect the entire planet. A global changing scenario that dramatically influenced all aspects of creativity. Including, of course, fashion where the 1920’s flapper aesthetics morphed into a more mature and somewhat harder look that played with shapes, volumes, silhouettes, strongly influenced by the Modernist and Bauhaus art movements and by a more utilitarian outlook on life. And yet 1930’s fashion is also characterised by a fascinating duality, as the rationalist modernist approach was tempered by wonderful flights of fancy, once again derived from and inspired by the world of art and more specifically by the Art Déco and the Surrealist art movements. Needless to say, the silver screen, the revolutionary phenomenon that revolutionised fashion for ever, also had a significant influence on 1930’s fashion. Two different exhibitions in the same museum in London examine 1930’s fashion in great detail. ‘Night and Day: 1930’s Fashion and Photographs’ by juxtaposing day outfits with evening wear looks worn by 1930’s movie stars and style icons. And ‘Cecil Beaton: Thirty from the 1930’s – Fashion, Film and Fantasy’ by displaying thirty portraits, including iconic images of Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn, Elsa Schiaparelli, shot during the course of the Thirties by Cecil Beaton, one of the most influential and iconic British photographers of all times. Both exhibitions are at the Fashion and Textiles Museum in London until 20th of January 2019.