The Museum of London wants your Jewish fashion items

The pieces will be part of a new exhibit celebrating Jewish Londoners' contribution to British fashion


Did your family work in the schmatte trade? If so, the Museum of London Docklands needs your help.

The museum is appealing for clothes and accessories made by celebrated Jewish designers such as silhouette innovator Mr Fish, Cecil Gee, milliner Otto Lucas, Rahvis, Neymar and Madame Isobel for a major new exhibition spotlighting Jewish designers and their innovative fashion creations.

“We tell the stories of all Londoners, and this is our first major exhibition that celebrates London’s Jewish communities,” said fashion curator Dr Lucie Whitmore, who is putting together the exhibition.

“We’re making sure that we are broad in thinking about who those communities are, so we’ve got stories about both Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewish people, we have people who arrived in the city at different times, different cultural backgrounds, different life paths. But we know that for a lot of people today, this will be a really personal story because it’s such a big part of London’s Jewish history, is that involvement in the dress and textile trades”

On her wishlist are specific items such as menswear by Mr Fish, or by Beatles favourite Cecil Gee, womenswear by Rahvis, hats made by Otto Lucas and find theatre costumes made by Neymar and gowns made by society dressmaker Madame Isobel in the 1930s.

“It’s a really nice way to pay tribute to the stories of designers that don’t always get time in the public eye, or don’t always get the recognition for the differences that they made to the fashion industry and by extension, London’s economy and success. These are people who played a really important part we celebrate their legacy.” said Dr Whitmore.

The exhibition is the first time in 20 years that the museum has focused on its fashion and textile collection. “Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners Shaped Global Style” will open to the public between October 2023 and April 2024. It will give visitors the chance to step into the world of Carnaby Street in the 1960s, and a traditional East End tailoring workshop. 

The Museum of London Docklands is looking for the following items including David Bowie’s dress worn on The Man Who Sold the World’s album image, Sean Connery’s shirts from his time as the first 007 agent, and a hat belonging to the famed film actress Greta Garbo. 

“It’s a personal story for a lot of people and I hope that people can take something from seeing the acknowledgment of that,” said Dr Whitmore.

If you have information about the items above, please email: or visit for more details. The museum call out will be open until 1 March 2023.

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