The 30’s were one of the most elegant decades of the past century. Proofs of this may be seen at the exhibition staged until January 20th, 2019 at the Fashion and Textile Museum in London (83 Bermondsey Street). The exhibition “Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs” will explore about 100 day and evening styles of the decade, reflecting the taste of great tailors of that time such as Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, MadeleineVionnet.
The exhibition is divided into sections and it opens with “Escapism”, which alludes to the search for “elsewhere”- a better place- a very common idea of the decade. After the fall of Wall Street in 1929, in fact, people were obsessed with financial worries and they tried to escape from everyday life by finding shelter in Hollywood films or in the search for beauty. The other sections of the exhibition deal with the theme of free time (“Sport and Leisure”) or clothing worn by middle class people living in the suburbs (“Suburbia”). The exhibition is completed by a collection of images shot by well-known photographers of the time such as Dorothy Wilding, Paul Tanqueray and Ernest Bachrach.
A whole space is dedicated to the English photographer Cecil Beaton entitled “Cecil Beaton: Thirty from the 1930s – Fashion, Film, Fantasy”, which stages 30 of his shots portraying great celebrities of the time including Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Marlene Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Salvador Dali and Queen Elizabeth II.
Above: Loretta Young photographed by Cecil Beaton.