Beauty and the Blitz Talk at The London Transport Museum

Beauty and the Blitz
Tuesday 7 December 2010

During Word War II rationing and later the government’s utility scheme meant everyone had to tighten their belts. Fashion and design historian, Emmanuelle Dirix will explain that, far from being put on the back burner, beauty and fashion practices became much more inventive and were encouraged through the government’s make-do-and-mend campaign. Despite strict regulations and ‘fashion rations’ people still maintained style. New austerity fashion items such as trousers and wedge sole shoes, along with hats – which were unrationed, provided an opportunity to update looks, whilst old blankets and curtains took on new roles as coats and dresses. This illustrated talk – which will include archive propaganda film footage of the make-do-and-mend campaign – will show how the Second World War and the utility style made fashion more accessible to the masses, and explain how New York became one of the world’s leading style centres as a result of the occupation of Paris.

Time: 18:30 Talk last approximately one hour

Admission: Adults £8.00; senior citizens £6.00; students £4.00

Bookings: Tickets can be reserved in advance on or 020 7565 7298

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