Talks, Tours & Events for Adults

Fashion on the Ration: A Close-Up Look at 1940s Fashions

Illustration of fashion in the 1940s

Wednesday 20 June
Two study sessions available

Join us for this special study session with a close-up look at some fabulous 1940s fashions from the Harris collection.

Our curator has carefully picked out a fascinating selection of clothes and accessories from this decade. Beginning by looking at the impact of the Second World War and on how people dressed.

Many were in uniform and, from 1942, clothes were made under the government Utility Scheme - labelled with the 'CC41' logo. We are fortunate to have a collection of CC41 clothes, including loads of Utility underwear and some wonderful examples of wartime wedding dresses.

We will explore Post-war fashions include the de-mob suits worn by men leaving the armed forces and the Horrockses Fashions to see how women dressed after the end of wartime rationing. Princess Elizabeth was probably the most famous fan of these Preston-made cotton frocks. Horrockses Fashions perfectly illustrate the translation of Christian Dior's New Look on the British high street. This is a unique opportunity to see close up  some of our best 1940s examples.

We will also think about which stories of these 1940s fashions aren't currently beng  told in our collection - and why?

Alongside clothes, you'll have a range of accessories, clothes patterns, and fashion magazines such as Vogue and Home Notes on hand. This is a special get-together for vintage fashion enthusiasts - whether you are a beginner or an expert - come along and meet like-minded people.

Please note: These are study sessions - not a talk. We'll be a small group of 12 people, gathered around a table, talking and exploring together the clothes close up for around 45 mins. There'll be lots of chance for questions and informal discussion. And you are welcome to suggest other subjects for future study sessions.

Session One: 5.30pm
Session Two: 6.30pm

Cost? £5 (£2.50 for students - please bring your student ID or NUS card)

We also ask that you kindly let us know if you need to cancel your ticket as we often have a waiting list for these special events.

Do I need to book in advance? Booking Essential - Please book your place on Harris Eventbrite here


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