Fashion in the Archive of Art & Design

Photograph by John French, 1960s. Museum no. JF6745/3

Photograph by John French, 1960s. Museum no. JF6745/3

The V&A's Archive of Art and Design holds the working papers of individual artists and designers, as well as the records of companies and associations involved in all aspects of applied art and design. The archives can be consulted by appointment at Blythe House, located near Olympia in West London.

Further information about the Archives.

From the classic couture of the House of Worth to the street style of Antoni + Alison, the collections of the Archive of Art and Design show how fashion design has changed since the 19th century. As well as designs and sketches, there are also fabric samples, marketing records, photographs and correspondence, documenting the careers of several top British fashion designers.

Revolutionary fashion styles are represented in the archives of John Stephen (the 'King of Carnaby Street'), Barbara Hulanicki and Biba, the Presage fashion forecast magazine, and 1970s knitwear by Ritva. More traditional styles can be seen through the archives of Lachasse, Ronald Paterson, Michael Sherard and Victor Stiebel, while popular fashion is recorded in extensive collections of home knitting and sewing patterns.

Fashion photography and illustration, including the scrapbooks of Cecil Beaton, are also available, as are designs for shoes, hats, underwear, cosmetics and jewellery.

For more details please consult the Guide to the Archive of Art and Design, Victoria & Albert Museum by Elizabeth Lomas (London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum, 2001), which not only lists the AAD archives, but also identifies related material in the V&A Museum and other institutions. Most of the archives are also listed on the National Art Library catalogue.

Designers

  • Antoni + Alison, fashion designers: records c.1976-97.
    AAD/1997/20
  • Maison Arnold, Paris: records c.1900-20.
    AAD/1884/5
  • Cecil Beaton, illustrator, photographer and stage designer: scrapbooks 1922-80.
    AAD/1986/13
  • Biba, fashion retailer and department store: records c.1970-94. See also Barbara Hulanicki
    AAD/1996/6
  • Harold Felber, fashion designer: papers, c.1950-c.1989.
    AAD/1991/13, AAD/1994/3
  • Barbara Hulanicki, designer and founder of Biba (AAD/1996/6): papers 1980-86.
    AAD/1988/14
  • Isobel, fashion designer: papers c.1950-c.1988.
    AAD/1991/12
  • Marjorie Janko, lingerie designer: papers 1885-c.1974.
    AAD/1998/14
  • Lachasse Ltd, ladies dressmakers, milliners and tailors: records c.1930-81 .
    AAD/1989/6
  • Mark Luker, fashion designer and illustrator: papers c.1919-72.
    AAD/1997/6
  • Betty Newmarch, fashion designer: papers, 1946-83.
    AAD/1995/16
  • Ronald Paterson, fashion designer: papers, c.1950-c.1970.
    AAD/2001/4
  • Pilot Fashions, ladieswear designers and wholesalers: press cutting albums and fashion sketches. 1940-62.
    AAD/1995/11
  • Richard O. Porter, fashion wholesalers: albums 1902-51.
    AAD/1995/10
  • Thea Porter, fashion designer: papers c.1960-89.
    AAD/1995/4
  • Ritva / Mike Ross / Ritva Ross, knitwear designers, records, c.1966-c.1980.
    AAD/2001/2
  • Eve Sandford, knitting designer: albums, 1961-9.
    AAD/1988/6
  • Michael Sherard, dress designer: press cuttings albums, 1947-83.
    AAD/2000/6
  • Frederick Starke, fashion designer and promoter: press cuttings, 1949-69.
    AAD/2000/10
  • Victor Stiebel, fashion designer: press cutting albums, 1932-63.
    AAD/1994/1
  • John Stephen, fashion designer: papers, c.1955-c.1980.
    AAD/1998/5
  • House of Worth Ltd and Paquin Ltd, couture house: drawings 1889-c.1952 and photographs c.1899-1929. A microform copy of the photograph albums is also available in the National Art Library (Pressmark F.92.0008)
    AAD/1982/1, AAD/1990/4

Manufacturers

  • Calico Printers' Association Ltd: textile sample books, 1933-70.
    AAD/1988/9
  • Madame Crystal Ltd and A. Tugendhat, glove maker; yarn importer: records, 1928-90.
    AAD/1991/6
  • Lilley and Skinner Ltd, shoe manufacturers and retailer: publicity albums, 1909-63.
    AAD/1977/5
  • Portland Outfitters, hosiers and outfitters: records, 1896-1962.
    AAD/1983/2
  • George Malyard, hatter: records, 1966-83.
    AAD/1988/7
  • S. London Ltd. furrier: records, c.1920-68.
    AAD/1994/5
  • Silhouette (Salop) Ltd, sportswear, underwear and swimwear manufacturer: marketing records, 1957-c.1989.
    AAD/1994/21

Photographers

  • John French, fashion photographer: papers, c.1948-85.
    AAD/1979/9
  • Cecil Beaton, illustrator, photographer and stage designer: scrapbooks, 1922-80.
    AAD/1986/13

Fashion illustration

  • Loulou Brown, fashion illustrator: papers, 1916-50.
    AAD/1997/10
  • Husey Gould, illustrator, album: 1903-4.
    AAD/1995/27
  • Cuthbert Grasemann, amateur artist: sketches, 1906-57.
    AAD/1988/11
  • Sigrid Roesen, editor and fashion illustrator: papers, c.1930-71.
    AAD/1991/2
  • Mark Luker, fashion designer and illustrator: papers, c.1919-72.
    AAD/1997/6
  • Francis Marshall, fashion and social illustrator: tearsheets, c.1920-80.
    AAD/1987/8, AAD/1990/2

Fashion accessories

  • Lilley and Skinner Ltd., shoe manufacturer and retailer: publicity albums, 1909-63.
    AAD/1977/5
  • Lachasse Ltd, ladies dressmakers, milliners and tailors,: records, c.1930-81.
    AAD/1989/6
  • George Malyard, hatter: records c.1966-83
    AAD/1988/7
  • Simone Mirman, milliner: albums, 1954-67.
    AAD/1995/24
  • Madame Crystal Ltd and A. Tugendhat, glove maker; yarn importer: records, 1928-90.
    AAD/1991/6

Fashion promotion

  • The Ambassador, export magazine for fashion and textiles: records, 1933-87.
    AAD/1987/1
  • European Commission for the Promotion of Silk, silk garment publicists: photographs, c.1970-6.
    AAD/1978/5
  • Presage : Paris Fashion Forecast, c.1961-87.
    AAD 746.92 PRE
  • Frederick Starke, fashion designer and promoter: press cuttings, 1949-69.
    AAD/2000/10

Sewing and knitting

  • Eileen Calvert, knitter and needlewoman: collection, c.1930-86.

    AAD/1993/10
  • Elizabeth Davenport, knitwear designer: papers, 1937-88.
    AAD/1991/8
  • Ephemera Collections: patterns for crochet, embroidery, knitwear and sewing, 1885-c.1979.
    AAD Ephemera
  • Ethel Garnham, crocheter, knitter and seamstress: collection, c.1930-51.
    AAD/1991/5
  • Ramah Judah, embroiderer and knitter: collection, 1918-c.1949.
    AAD/1990/3
  • Knitting Patterns: c.1939-c.1960.
    AAD/1990/11, AAD/1995/34
  • Ritva / Mike Ross / Ritva Ross, knitwear designers, records, c.1966-c.1980.
    AAD/2001/2
  • Eve Sandford, knitting designer: albums, 1961-9.
    AAD/1988/6
  • Sewing Patterns: 1933-90.
    AAD/1984/7, AAD/1984/8, AAD/1988/15, AAD/1992/7, AAD/1995/28, AAD/1996/3

Ephemera

  • Exhibition ephemera: Textile Arts Festival, Bradford (1990), Clothes Show Live, London (1989).
    AAD Ephemera
  • High Street Trawl ephemera: files of High Street Trawl ephemera (1988-2001).
    AAD Ephemera
  • Thematic ephemera: patterns for crochet, embroidery, knitwear and sewing (1885-c.1979).
    AAD Ephemera

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