Selfridges London has opened its latest in-store exhibition, Big Britannica: 1951 – 1953, as part of a store-wide celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

Curator Judith Clark collaborated with famed hat designer Stephen Jones on the resulting selection of classic Fifties-era-inspired looks accompanied by period issues of British Vogue. Contrary to typical fashion exhibitions, the fit-and-flare dresses, exquisite tailored skirt suits, and wool separates on display are actually modern re-creations of Fifties-era Vogue-brand home sewing patterns, mimicking the mid-Century, mid-market trend for re-creating designer looks on one’s own.

The inspiration for the exhibition was drawn from three issues of British Vogue published each February between 1951 and 1953. The ‘Britannica’ issues of Vogue set out to celebrate Britishness and review its essence, especially in fashion terms, in the aftermath of the war and the advent of the new Queen, Elizabeth II.

Big Britannica: 1951-1953 runs from 4 May – 24 June 2012 at Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London.

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