Fiction in Fashion

What do your reading habits say about you? How can we take a leaf out of the books of some of the most stylish women of the last 60 years?

Breakfast At Tiffany's, Truman Capote
Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Truman Capote

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’.

Couples, John Updike
Couples, John Updike

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.

Lady Chatterley's Lover, DH Lawrence
Lady Chatterley’s Lover, DH Lawrence

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.

Pride And Predjudice, Jane Austen
Pride And Predjudice, Jane Austen

The show aims to act as a complement to the current exhibition of clothing designs by British couture house Bellville Sassoon.

The End Of The Affair, Graham Greene
The End Of The Affair, Graham Greene

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’.

The Millstone, Margaret Drabble
The Millstone, Margaret Drabble

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.

The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

Featured authors include F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, Graham Greene, Dirk Bogarde, Truman Capote, Marian Keyes, John Updike and Zadie Smith.

Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh

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.

The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer
The Secret Diary Of Laura Palmer

Fashion in Fiction runs from 22 October – 11 January at the Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1

White Teeth, Zadie Smith
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
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  • Marie Campbell November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    I have this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their bookshelves, and my book stack screen prints follow that theme.

    I’ve illustrated a selection of well known titles from my own bookshelves, you can see what they say about me here: http://www.thebohopress.co.uk/product/stack-of-books

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