This photographic exhibition was curated by writer and and fashion historian Alistair O’Neill as part of his project ‘Fashion and Modernity’
“This exhibition was one of a series of events and exhibitions on the Charing Cross Road that acted as an enquiry into the construction of the present, fashioned from an excavation of the past.
My exhibition reconsidered the Viennese émigré photographer Wolf Suschitzky’s images of life on the Charing Cross Road in the 1930s, and analysed them through the perspective of fashion as a social agent of metropolitan change. It included over sixty photographs including some vintage prints which it paired with a number of explanatory wall texts including an essay by the late historian Raphael Samuel.
Working in close consultation with the photographer, I also selected a number of photographs for exhibition that had never before been printed or exhibited. The exhibition thereby enabled a re-evaluation of this photographer’s work at a late period in his life (he is in his 90s).
Furthermore, the new photographic evidence suggested that trade on the Charing Cross road in the 1930s was as much about clothing as it was about bookselling. The project thus made a contribution to social history, as well as to the histories of fashion, retailing, London and photography itself.” Alistair O’Neill