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Museum of London issues public call out for lost David Bowie dress

The Museum of London Docklands is also looking for items worn by Mick Jagger and The Beatles for a new exhibition celebrating Jewish designers in the capital

By Tom Skinner

black and white image of David Bowie
David Bowie wearing a dress designed by Michael Fish (aka Mr Fish). (Picture: Museum of London)

The Museum of London Docklands has issued a public call out for a lost dress worn by David Bowie on the cover of his third studio album, The Man Who Sold The World.

Released back in 1970, the record’s cover artwork sees the late icon donning a blue and cream satin dress created by fashion designer Michael Fish (aka Mr Fish) while relaxing on a chaise longue. Bowie also sported the item during some press interviews in promotion of the LP.

It’s hoped that the dress will feature in the the museum’s new exhibition Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners Shaped Global Style, which will celebrate the contribution of Jewish Londoners such as Mr Fish to the worldwide fashion industry.

Additionally, organisers have also issued a public call out for lost items worn by Mick Jagger and The Beatles, which were created by Jewish designers.

Per a press release, the museum is looking for the following:

  • Menswear pieces made by Mr Fish and worn by famous names such as Sean Connery, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Muhammad Ali and Michael Caine
  • Menswear pieces made by Cecil Gee and worn by famous names such The Beatles
  • 1930s or 1940s womenswear pieces made by Rahvis and worn by famous names, including Hollywood film stars 
  • Hats made by Otto Lucas and worn by famous names such as Greta Garbo or Wallis Simpson 
  •  Theatre costume made by Neymar for Cecil Landau’s production of Sauce Tartare (1949)  
  •  1930s gowns made by dressmaker Madame Isobel (Isobel Spevak Harris)  

Those who have any information about the pieces are being asked to email between now and March 1, 2023. You can find further information here.

“This exhibition is a real celebration of the excellence of London fashion, highlighting the fantastic contribution of London’s immigrant communities,” explained Fashion Curator Dr. Lucie Whitmore in a statement.

“To tell the all-encompassing story, we want to locate other pieces by these designers and would love anyone who knows their whereabouts to get in touch and help us showcase their work and legacy.” 

She continued: “Jewish people were working at all levels of the fashion industry in London throughout the twentieth century but the extent of their contribution has been widely unrecognised.

“Jewish makers established the ready to wear industry, worked their way into the highest levels of London fashion and dominated Carnaby Street in the swinging sixties.”

Whitmore added: “Many of these designers were internationally famous – favoured by the rich and famous and highly respected for their creativity, skill, and originality. It’s a contribution that deserves to be recognised.”

Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners Shaped Global Style is set to run from October 13, 2023 until April 14, 2024.