Keep Calm & Wear It Well
Exploring fashionable dress in Britain during the 1940s, our Olive Matthews Costume exhibition opened on 16 September and runs until 31 August 2024.
The 1940s was a tumultuous decade, characterised, in the first instance, by the Second World War (1939 – 1945). The State involved itself deeply in ordinary people’s dress. The wartime period and the years that followed are characterised by government policies such as clothes rationing, the Utility Scheme and the Make-Do and Mend campaign. These sought to control the acquisition and care of clothing, its price, quality and, to some extent, look.
Even when war ended in 1945, the conflict would cast a long shadow, with lasting restrictions and shortages biting well into the second half of the 1940s. It was only with the resurgence of Paris as a fashion capital, and Christian Dior’s New Look in 1947, that the traditional fashion system would re-assert itself. The decade ended with a long pent-up burst of extravagance; a very different place from where it began.
Chertsey Museum is closed from 23 December 2023 for an extended period into 2024 as our new lift is being installed. Therefore, we will not re-open after the festive period until Thursday 18 January 2024
Tues to Fri 12.30 to 4.30, Sat 11 to 4
Chertsey Museum, The Cedars, 33 Windsor Street, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8AT
Tue 5 December to Sat 27 Jan 2024