Leeds nostalgia: Leeds ‘demob suits’ on display in New York

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For a Yorkshireman returning home after the Second World War, it was tailor made to help him take his first sartorial steps back into civilian life.

And a dapper demob suit from Leeds has also proved to be the perfect fit for a celebration of fabulous fashion at one of the world’s biggest arts institutions.

The Burtons 1945 demob suit travelled more than 5,000 miles across the pond from Leeds Industrial Museum and is now being displayed in New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

The suit, usually on display in Leeds Industrial Museum’s Tailoring Gallery, is being shown as part of MOMA’s Items: Is Fashion Modern? exhibition, which displays 111 garments and accessories that have had a profound effect on the world.

Demob suits were a suit of civilian clothes given to a man on his demobilisation from the British armed forces at the end of the Second World War.

Other exhibits in New York include a Vivienne Westwood kilt, some Levi jeans from 1947 and a Wonderbra from the early 1990s.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “The fact that one of our exhibits is being featured in one of the world’s foremost arts establishments is a tribute to the scope and quality of our collection in Leeds.

“It also highlights the hugely important role the city has played in the history of textiles and fashion and it’s wonderful that we continue to celebrate the talent and expertise which flourishes in the city today.”

For more information about Leeds Industrial Museum please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/armleymills

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