Charity shop find reenters fashion world at Museum of London Docklands exhibition

Words: Harry Young | Image: Kipper tie designed by Mr Fish © Museum of London

London Fashion Exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands showcases rare ‘Mr Fish’ kipper tie found at a charity shop

A rare ‘Mr Fish’ kipper tie uncovered in a charity shop is now on display at the Museum of London Docklands as a noteworthy exhibit in ‘Fashion City: How Jewish Londoners Shaped Global Style’exhibition, running until April 2024.

Originally designed by the renowned menswear designer Michael Fish, the tie found its way into the possession of Janneke van der Wal, a 65-year-old aficionado of thrift store treasures.

Purchased for a mere 99p from an Age UK shop in Southampton, Van der Wal was initially unaware of its cultural significance until she delved into its history upon returning home. Recognizing the tie’s historical value after discovering its connection to Michael Fish, she promptly contacted the Museum of London and contributed it to its collection.

The distinct wide-design of this type of tie earned it the moniker kipper tie, a playful nod to the designer’s name, Michael Fish. A trailblazer in menswear during the 1960s-70s counterculture movement, Mr Fish was a notable figure in forming the ‘Peacock Revolution’.

He went on to found his own venture, ‘Mr Fish’, which revitalised British menswear staples with bold colours and patterns, experimenting with innovative silhouettes. Some notable names who wore the ‘Mr Fish’ label include Mick Jagger, Muhammad Ali, Jimi Hendrix, and Michael Caine.

Keen viewers can spot ‘Mr Fish’ on Sean Connery for his inaugural James Bond role. David Bowie famously sported a ‘Mr Fish’ dress on the cover of the 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.” 283