Fashion on the Ration at the Imperial War Museum, London, UK 04 Mar 2015.
Jennifer Siggs, of the IWM with CC41 utility wear - Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style – a new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 1945. Divided into six sections: Into Uniform looks at how Second World War Britain became a nation in uniform; Functional Fashion explores how the demands of wartime life changed the way civilians dressed at work and at home; Rationing and Make do and Mend will look at why clothes rationing was introduced in 1941, how the scheme worked and how it changed the shopping habits of the nation, including a bridesmaid’s dress made from parachute material, a bracelet made from aircraft components, a child’s coat made from a blanket and on display for the first time a bra and knickers set made from RAF silk maps for Countess Mountbatten; Utility Clothing was introduced in 1941 to tackle unfairness in the rationing scheme and standardise production to help the war effort; Beauty as Duty examines the lengths to which many women went, to maintain their personal appearance – and the pressure they felt to do so; and Peace and a new look? which looks at how the end of the war impacted upon fashion, and considers the long-term impact, including a ‘VE’ print dress worn by the comedienne Jenny Hayes to celebrate the end of the war, and an example of the ubiquitous demob-suit, issued to men leaving the military services. The exhibition runs from 5 March – 31 August 2015Add to Lightbox Download