Bomber Jackets

By beatrice behlen on 3 Apr 2014
Jim Rice, 1980

Jim Rice, British Movement, Welling, Kent, 1980 (© JIM RICE – WWW.LONDONPHOTO.CO.UK)
(The number bottom right is not part of the photo.)

A few weeks ago I found myself surrounded by fascists. I was on my way to the West End when at Tower Hill station a large group of French-speaking men with assorted girlfriends and wives (I presume) entered my tube carriage. Read the full postRead the full post

Guest Willie Walters blog: Mark Fast at London Fashion Week

By sarah madden, blog editor on 24 Feb 2014
1978 dress by Swanky Modes

1978 dress by Swanky Modes

As the bright lights and theatrical sets of London Fashion Week have packed up and left our fair city for fabulous Milan, we’ve been getting the scoop from the top shows just for you from Willie Walters, Fashion BA Course Director for Central Saint Martin’s College of Arts and Design. The Museum of London is lucky enough to have a fabulous 1978 dress designed by Willie and her sister Mel, better known as Swanky Modes, in our fashion collection. Founded in 1972, Swanky Modes made aggressively glamorous and fetishistic outfits from synthetic materials. The clothes were originally sold by mail order but eventually from a shop in Camden which became a meeting place for punks. Read the full postRead the full post

Guest RSC blog: Shakespeare’s London and Henry IV

By Owen Horsley on 20 Feb 2014

RSC Museum of London Visit 1RSC Museum of London Visit 2RSC Museum of London Visit 3RSC Museum of London Visit 4RSC Museum of London Visit 5RSC Museum of London Visit 6RSC Museum of London Visit 7RSC Museum of London Visit 8RSC Museum of London Visit 9RSC Museum of London Visit 10RSC Museum of London Visit 11RSC Museum of London Visit 15RSC Museum of London Visit 17RSC Museum of London Visit 18RSC Museum of London Visit 20Actor Anthony Sher with some Tudor cutleryHead of Archaeological Collections Roy with cast and crew of Henry IVShakespeare's London object handlingShakespeare's London object handling with curator Meriel JeaterShakespeare's London object handling with Roy StephensonCurator Beatrice Behlen shows the cast and crew some Elizabethan items from the museum's costume store.Fashion curator Beatrice shows a Tudor jerkin to the cast and crew of Henry IV.Curator Jackie Keily with a selection of leatherwear.Curator Jackie Keily with a selection of leatherwear.Curator Beatrice Behlen shows the cast and crew some Shakespearean items from the museum's costume store.Curator Jackie Keily with a selection of leatherwear.RSC's Artistic Director Greg Doran with cast membersThe RSC cast and crew of Henry IV with the Museum of London team.

Last month the Royal Shakespeare Company visited the Museum of London to research for our production of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 and 2. We were at the beginning of our rehearsal process for the plays and as we analysed the text in the room we noticed how specific Shakespeare was being in his depiction of everyday life in Elizabethan London. As with the famous writer’s adage, ‘write what you know’, we could tell that in writing the tavern scenes Shakespeare was doing just that. Read the full postRead the full post

Lucile at 17 Hanover Square

By beatrice behlen on 12 Feb 2014
Maison Lucile Sign

Maison Lucile Sign

A few months ago I became obsessed with the exact location of Lucile’s establishments in and around Hanover Square. As many of you will know, Lucile was the nom de couture of Lady Duff Gordon née Lucy Christiana Sutherland, divorced Mrs James Wallace, arguably the first English dress designer working in London who achieved international fame (and am not speaking of the Titanic episode here). I knew she had premises at both nos. 17 and 23 but what were their coordinates? Read the full postRead the full post

Made in London designer profile: Husam el Odeh

By beatrice behlen on 9 Dec 2013

Husam el Odeh in his Hoxton studioWatch vest by Husam el OdehHusam el Odeh at work

London serves as a training ground, workshop, market place and inspiration to a large number of jewellery makers. Made in London: Jewellery Now explores the creations and unique vision of the most exciting, imaginative and boundary-pushing jewellers working in the capital today. In this blog series, exhibition curators Beatrice Behlen and Agata Belcen speak to the designers involved in the exhibition and discover what inspires them. Read the full postRead the full post

Miss Levy’s Wedding Dress

By beatrice behlen on 27 May 2013

Victor Stiebel Label

This whole thing started a few years ago when a wedding dress came up at auction. Not being a wedding dress swooner I could nevertheless think of quite a few (entirely rational) reasons why the museum should acquire this particular example. For one thing it was made by Victor Stiebel, one of my favourite London couturiers. Secondly, we do not have enough of his creations (one never does) and they do not come up at auction very often. The dress also had an intriguing mystery inscription. We will get to that in a moment. Read the full postRead the full post

Chéruit – Unfinished Business

By beatrice behlen on 1 Nov 2012

When I mentioned our Chéruit dress aeons ago, I promised I would explain how it came into our collection. This has been preying on my mind for far too long, partly because, as you will see, things are a little complicated. Here is my attempt to cut a long story short and try to make sense of something that I am not sure I wholly understand myself at this point. You might want to get yourself a cup of tea …

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