Nothing beats a wee little work outing! Last Thursday we were absolutely delighted when a special invitation dropped into our inbox, welcoming our team to an exclusive opening of Manchester Imperial War Museum’s latest exhibit – Fashion On The Ration: 40s Street Style.
Having been in residence in London for the past year, it was a treat to see such a collection of immaculately kept fashion make it’s way to the north. But we aren’t just talking the big-skirted frocks and pearls one might attribute to the era – as the exhibits helpful guide explained, “From ‘onesies’ to wear in the air raid shelter to jewellery created from aeroplane parts, Fashion on the Ration looks at how fashion survived and even flourished under the strict rules of rationing in 1940s Britain, often in new and unexpected ways.”
Loaded up on canapes and fizzy wine (it was a team night out after all), we made our way into the show itself. While it wouldn’t be fair to ruin the show for anyone (some of these outfits really do need to be seen to be believed), we couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of our favourite looks. From hard-wearing overalls to meticulously patterned dresses, it’s humbling to see just how much of a outlet fashion was in the 1940s – while the war raged on, imaginative dress was a form of escapism and comfort, proof that even at the darkest of times, fashion doesn’t have to be frivolous – it can be dynamic, expressive and a great means to make the most of your surroundings – our favourite was a beautiful garment fashioned from a silk map!
Fashion On A Ration: 1940s Street Style opens to the public this weekend – for more information and to book your tickets, visit the website here. A big thanks to the museum team for inviting us along – what a lovely mid-week treat!