The London Fashion and Textile Museum is mounting an exhibition of garments and photography from the 1920s jazz age, drawn from a major private collection.
In the major cities of Europe and America, the decade between 1919 and 1929 saw a transformation in the ways women dressed. The silhouettes became straighter, the hemline rose and clothes became favoured for free movement rather than the way they exaggerated certain parts of the body.
The exhibition contains both the extravagant silk kimonos and beaded dresses of 1920s high society and more low key items, such as pyjamas and sportswear. It also focuses on the ready-made as well as haute couture, showing how innovations in the latter bled over into the former. Photographs by Man Ray and Cecil Beaton are juxtaposed with the drawings of Gordon Conway. The final room looks in particular at the photographer James Abbe, whose portraits of Hollywood stars helped to define the era's aesthetic.
In reference to the influence of film on the era's style, the show opens in a cinema showing contemporary clips, and the exhibition space has been designed to look like a film sound stage.