150 Years of Jewish-Made Menswear Is Celebrated In London

This coming weekend, London’s Jewish Museum welcomes the first visitors to a brand new menswear exhibition taking us on a journey from tailoring workshops to the boutique revolution and mod culture of the swinging ’60s, and celebrating the undeniable influence which Jewish tailors had on the gear we have come to love down the ages.

Featuring fashion, photography and memorabilia including John Lennon’s Cecil Gee suede jacket, “Moses, Mods and Mr Fish” offers an unmissable opportunity to explore the menswear revolution and, importantly, to understand the social context.

From Levi Strauss to Ralph Lauren and a million other household names, the Jewish tailor spans the entire sector from workwear to the catwalk.

Throughout Jewish history, most Jewish communities had at least one tailor, and often disproportionately more as those populations grew. Obviously, there was a practical need to have an expert in the creation and repair of clothing however, it was also necessary for the observance of mitzvot (commandments) such as sha’atnez, the ancient biblical injunction against wearing fabrics that combine wool and linen.

“Moses, Mods and Mr Fish” chronicles how all this took root in London’s East End and then went “up west” to light the blue touchpaper for the explosion which put Carnaby Street at the centre of the fashion map forever.

Exhibition Events

Curator’s Talks

Mondays 11 April, 9 May and 13 June, 2 – 2.30pm
Discover more about the themes, stories and objects on display with exhibition curator Elizabeth Selby.

Evening Lecture

Suit: The History of an Idea. Thursday 14 April, 6.30 – 7.30pm
Leading menswear historian Professor Christopher Breward, author of new book, The Suit, explores the history of this enduring
garment. Why is it such an icon? What does its form tell us about society? And what is its future?

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In the Loop Workshop

Sunday 10 April, 2 – 4pm
Get hands on with fashion designer, pattern cutter and historian Laura Jones as she gives an insight into the traditions of neckwear and helps you to make your own tie. Pick your favourite style and take it home – whether it’s ultra skinny, a ‘70s inspired kipper or a classic style.

Menswear Study Day

Tuesday 3 May, 10am – 3.30pm
Explore the history of menswear through a series of talks from experts in the field. Speakers include Laura Ugolini, author of Men and Menswear: Sartorial Consumption in Britain, 1880-1939, and Timothy Long, Curator of Fashion at the Museum of London.

Counter-Culture Late Opening

Thursday 19 May, 6 – 9pm
Explore the exhibition after hours and enjoy music, talks, fashion inspired activities and much more.

Fashion Insiders Panel Discussion

Tuesday 7 June, 7 – 8.30pm
Want to get ahead in the fashion industry? Hear from insiders including DJ turned Sartorial Designer David Newell and Moss Bros CEO Brian Brick in a discussion chaired by Fashion Executive and Entrepreneur Maurice Helfgott (Oliver Sweeney, ex M&S). They will discuss how to get into the industry and dish the dirt on the latest trends, styles and news.

Opening Times

Until 19 June 2016
Open daily 10am – 5pm (Fridays 10am – 2pm)
Check website for full details of opening hours
jewishmuseum.org.uk/menswear

Getting There

Jewish Museum London
Raymond Burton House
129 – 131 Albert Street
London NW1 7NB
3 minutes walk from Camden Town Underground

 

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