Make do and trend

Make do and trend

 A new exhibition at the Imperial War Museum examines how fashion flourished during WW2  

Fashion On The Ration: 1940s Street Style at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) reveals the resourceful techniques Brits employed to stay stylish during WW2. The fascinating exhibition contains 300 exhibits comprising clothing, accessories, photographs, film, interviews and artwork, capturing the creativity that went into getting dressed during this age of rations and austerity. 

Displays include a gas mask turned into a handbag, siren suits with luminous black out buttons, a bridesmaid’s dress fashioned from a parachute, and underwear made from RAF silk maps. Thrifters, take note.

 Fashion On The Ration: 1940s Street Style, 5 March – 31 August.

  • Words: Helen Jennings

  • Photography: Imperial War Museum