No, I'm not being ironic. I'm writing this post as a steady stream of rain is falling from a leaden sky. However, my mind is full of sunshine, summer and sea bathing as I visited a must-see exhibition in London yesterday. Called Riviera Style it's on at the Fashion and Textile Museum and has been extended until 13 September.

It celebrates  the history of clothing worn in and by the sea over the past 120 years. Everything from demure woollen bathing suits right up to modern Olympic swimwear. My favourites were the beautifully tailored Victorian suits (several featuring a nifty use of ric rac) and the beachwear of the 1940s-50s whose fabric patterns and style would make any lover of retro textiles swoon. The designers at FTM have a lot of fun with their exhibitions. Riviera Style features a 1930s lido and fabulous railway posters from the early twentieth century.

FTM is a brilliant museum - worth going just to enjoy the building. You can't miss it - it's painted bright orange and is just a five minute walk from London Bridge station. Make time for a pre/post exhibition pit stop at the Museum café - featuring pastel coloured Tolix chairs, dinky plants at each table and an array of pastries, second to none. A dose of Mediterranean sunshine whatever the weather outside.



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