Fashion City Paperback

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This book accompanies our major exhibition Fashion City: How Jewish Londoner's shaped global style. Discover the extraordinary stories of the Jewish people who designed, made and sold fashion in 20th-century London, revealing their vital role in making it an iconic fashion city.

While Jewish people have long been associated with making clothes, the full extent of the contributions they made to London’s growing reputation as a global fashion capital and the democratisation of fashion through the development of ready-to-wear clothes in the 20th century have been widely forgotten. Spanning all sectors of the fashion industry – from homeworking to haute couture – the book draws stories from generations of Jewish Londoners and is richly illustrated with images from across the city and the Museum of London’s collections.

Fashion City takes you on a journey across London, from the busy clothing factories of the East End to the swinging boutiques of Carnaby Street and the manicured squares of Mayfair. Along the way it introduces you to the intriguing stories of the key figures behind London fashion, such as Frederick Starke, a boy from the East End whose ability to tell a creative story changed the way the world saw British ready-to-wear fashion; Otto Lucas, a gay Jewish German hat maker who became the most financially successful milliner in the world; Mr Fish, the rule-defying tailor who dressed Mick Jagger and Muhammed Ali; and Nettie Spiegel, who escaped the Nazis on the Kindertransport and became a London wedding dress designer of choice under her ‘Neymar’ label.

Bringing together a wealth of new research and presenting a novel perspective of London fashion this book, written by Bethan Bide and Lucie Whitmore, gives a voice to the city’s overlooked and often forgotten Jewish fashion makers.

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