London’s Fashion and Textile Museum is looking to show us how to read like the fashion set, with a new exhibition of ‘what glamourous women have been reading since 1953’.
It’s something of a woolly, if charming premise for a show, though Fashion in Fiction will undoubtedly unearth some gorgeous Penguin paperback book covers from the last six decades.
Rather than showcasing novels favoured by particular darlings of the fashion world, the exhibition instead draws together books popular with British women from the post war era.
The show aims to act as a complement to the current exhibition of clothing designs by British couture house Bellville Sassoon.
Head of the Fashion and Textile Museum, Celia Joicey, says, ‘The Glamour of Bellville Sassoon exhibition showcases British fashion design across 60 years, from 1950s debutantes to Diana, Princess of Wales. It is fascinating to see the novels that were popular in each era, and to consider the changing attitudes and aspirations of the women who wore these clothes’.
Quite how each novel is deemed to have been read by the sartorially-conscious is unclear, though there’s certainly a wide range of literary predilections on show.
Featured authors include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, Graham Greene, Dirk Bogarde, Truman Capote, Marian Keyes, John Updike and Zadie Smith.
It’s also nice to see the diary of Laura Palmer, of Twin Peaks fame, get a look in alongside more obviously glamourous choices, like Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Fashion in Fiction runs from 22 October – 11 January at the Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1