Day & Night in the 1930s

The Fashion and Textile Museum has done it again with another fantastic exhibit delving into the whole of the 1930s, from the what happened after the crash of the stock market in 1929 to every day life to the glitz and glamour that Hollywood produced to the dawn of a new monarchy with the coronation of George VI. It was a decade of extremes; beginning with poverty from the crash of the stock market to the glamour of the big screen, to huge and dramatic changes within politics especially with the dawn of fascism and ending the decade with another World War.

This exhibit is a celebration of this whole period, showcasing different walks of life during the Day and parties in the Night.


The 1930s brought in a new change for the world and for fashion. On the 29th October 1929 the American stock market crashed which lead waves of disaster not only in American but in Europe and Britain with resources that began to disappear. The Fashion began to change dramatically along with the end of the 1920s as the age of freedom and the roaring twenties ended. The waist line returned to the natural waist, instead of the dropped straight waistline. Skirts dropped to below the knee and structure of garments became to new mode breaking away from the relaxed shapes from the last period of fashion.

The Exhibit goes into how fashion was attainable for all classes through the use of Magazines, Department Stores and Cinema. It will take you into different eras throughout the period, the opportunity to witness couture from the dance halls in America to the Cinemas in London with garments from both side of the Atlantic Ocean. There are beautifully preserved dresses and suits from day time worn in the garden, to the evening gowns made to swish and even more wonderful garments perfect for the seaside. You will see the boundaries of classes breaking down as all different manner of fashion is portrayed together.


My favourite section of the exhibit was something I was shocked I would have included in favourites, it was all about the Coronation of George VI of Britain in 1937. It was such a tribute to Britain with garments styled in the richest fabrics of Red, Blue and White, flags and buntings every where you looked. It must have been such an exciting time for the people as they where encouraged to be as patriotic as possible. The highlight for me was discovering little brooches with the face of George VI and the Queen Mother painted onto them.


A little extra for us is the inclusion of photographs of Cecil Beaton who produced some of the best photographs during this period, from Hollywood stars to the Britain Royal Family, I enjoyed being able to see such an array of his work.

This is the period exhibit for those whole love discovering and witnessing a period of time with such change happening in the world as well as the fashion. It was wonderful to see the change from each year of the 1930s including one of my favourite movements Art Deco which was a highlight during the decade that helped define the period of social change.

Night and Day: 1930s Fashion and Photographs runs at the Fashion and Textile Museum until the 20 January 2019. It is a great tribute to the period that is worth seeing.