(Exhibition text in English, referring to a QR code in the exhibition)

Let’s shop

During the 1920s, more and more people can afford products that were previously available to only a few. Shopping becomes a way of expressing identity and individuality. The increase in demand for new products is seen as a sign of progress and growth. The ambition is to instil consumers with a constant craving for more. The advertising industry is professionalised and inspired by modern psychology.

Contemporary consumer behaviour is fuelled by the weekly press. New women’s magazines and the film industry promote a life of luxury. Hollywood is a symbol of glamour and daydreams. Even people with a modest income can afford to buy the lipstick or the cigarettes advertised by film stars.

A few objects

In the 1920s, it is still common for women to sew both their own and their family’s clothes. Women’s magazines offer dress patterns that, together with the straight lines of the new fashion, make it easy to sew fashionable garments. The 1926 dress with Egyptian-inspired embroidery, on the other hand, is ready-to-wear; made in a factory to fit a specific size.

Cover (copy) of Åhlén & Holm’s spring-summer 1927 catalogue. Catalogues keep people in rural areas up to date with new products, which are available through mail order. Åhlén & Holm is founded in 1899. The first product they launch is a framed print depicting the Swedish royal family. The company sells toys, toiletries, accessories, photo albums, textiles, women’s and men’s clothing, and kitchenware.

More about 2 20s (2 tjugotal)