Do a Ruby Keeler

The Boy Friend: Period film and retro fashion in 1971.

Book Tickets

In the 1960s and 1970s, nowhere was the relationship between fashion and film more apparent than with the trend for retro dressing. Do a Ruby Keeler: The Boy Friend – Period Film and Retro Fashion in 1971 curated by NJ Stevenson, explores this symbiosis through costumes by Shirley Russell and outfits by Barbara Hulanicki, Janice Wainwright and Ossie Clark.

‘We’re all actors’, Barbara Hulanicki

Entry to the Do a Ruby Keeler display is included in The Biba Story exhibition tickets.

Image: Original design for Pierrette fancy dress costume designed for Twiggy as Polly Browne by Shirley Russell for The Boy Friend (Ken Russell, 1971) Image courtesy of Victoria Russell.

About the curator

NJ Stevenson is a fashion curator, author, and lecturer at London College of Fashion. She curated Billy: Bill Gibb’s Moment in Time at the Fashion and Textile Museum in 2008. Recent publications include, ‘A Continuous Connection’ in Kaffe Fassett: The Artist’s Eye, (Yale University Press 2022) and ‘Shirley Russell and the Role of The Boy Friend in 1970s Retro’ in ReFocus: The Films of Ken Russell (Edinburgh University Press 2023).


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Coming soon

Outlaws: Fashion Renegades of 80s London

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