A rare Mr Fish kipper tie discovered in a charity shop has gone on display at the Museum of London Docklands as part of its latest exhibition Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners shaped global style (until April 2024).

Designed by the menswear designer Michael Fish, the tie was bought for 99p in Southampton and has now been donated to the museum.

(c) Museum of London Docklands

This type of tie, with its exaggerated wide shape, became known as a ‘kipper tie’- a name created as a pun on the designer’s name, Michael Fish. The boundary-pushing menswear designer was a key figure of the 1960s-70s counterculture movement the ‘peacock revolution’ and would go on to launch his own business Mr Fish. Known for his bold use of colour and pattern, Fish revitalised staples of British menswear and played with innovative silhouettes for men. He dressed Sean Connery for his first role as James Bond, and David Bowie famously wore a Mr Fish dress on the cover of his 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World.

Dr Lucie Whitmore, curator of Fashion City said: “Objects come to the museum through many different avenues and we’re delighted to have these iconic pieces of London fashion in our collection and on display in the exhibition.”

Next month, a special late night opening will allow visitors to explore the exhibition after hours with a range of special talks and guided tours.

The late opening, Fashion City late: From Petticoat Lane to Savile Row will run 7-10pm, Thursday 15th February 2024.

Tickets cost £20 per adult and are on sale from here.

(c) Museum of London Docklands

Full programme

Ground floor (food and drink available 7-10pm)

Performance | 7.45 – 8.30pm; 9 – 9.45pm

Grab a drink and join Jewish performance collective ‘Homos and Houmous’ for an evening of drag, trivia and games as they bring 1920s cabaret to the East End. Think Shabbat dinner argument meets Bette Midler doing musical stand-up in a New York bathhouse.

Exhibition tours | 7.15pm; 8.15pm

Join one of our hosts for an introductory tour of our Fashion City exhibition, highlighting the major contribution of Jewish designers in making London an iconic fashion city.

Headwear making workshop | 7 – 9.30pm

Drop in to our creative hub and make your own outfit-elevating headwear with award-winning milliner, Sahar Freemantle.

Club MiniJupe | 7pm – 9.45pm

Dance along to the 60s pop and psychedelia sounds of DJ Leenda Karina.

3rd floor

‘Second-hand trade in 19th Century London’ pop-up talk | 7.30 – 8pm

Learn about the history of the second-hand clothing trade, Jewish old clothes dealers and their connections to contemporary sustainability issues and ethical consumption today with Danielle Dove.

Maytime in Mayfair film screening | 8 – 9.45pm

A 1949 classic telling the story of an impoverished man who becomes heir to a glamorous West End fashion house. With an introduction from Beatrice Behlen, Senior Curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts.

‘M&S: Foundations of a fashion city’ pop-up talk | 8 – 8.30pm

Get intimate with fashion history and explore the unique role of M&S and other Jewish designers in developing new styles of underwear in the 20th Century in this talk with Lorraine Topper.

‘From the Islands to the City’ pop-up talk | 8.30 – 9pm

Discover stories about new life in London and multigenerational love of fashion with Rianna Norbert-David, building on histories of the East End fashion trades and the work and lives of Windrush generation tailors.


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One comment
  1. Anastasia Grabova says:

    This is such an interesting story! I love looking through charity shops in the hope of finding something rare like that. We can but hope!

    Just a few days a go I wrote a bio of Mr Fish, having interviewed the curator at the Museum of London. He’s led such an amazing life and played such a key part in London’s fashion history, it’s surprising he’s not better known. If anyone is interested then please check out culturestories.substack.com

    Hope it’s okay to post a link 🙂

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