Fashioning the Archive

25 June 2014 | 1.30pm – 6.30pm

Kensington, Lecture Theatre 1

This half-day event will address the idea of Archives in fashion research. We will ask how as researchers we can and do use archives and what constitutes an archive in a digital age. What are different research approaches to the archive and what can we learn from other ways of accessing and collating fashion “data”? Notions of classification, identification and preservation are often problematic within the field of fashion and textiles, since archives are difficult to access, such as private collections, while public collections are often little supported, hence navigating them is often a fraught and time-consuming experience.

This seminar-workshop would be an opportunity to pool knowledge and information about existing, accessible and little-known archives and taxonomies within fashion and textiles research. Do we classify fashion and textiles as material, industrial, craft-based, feminine, or popular? Or can taxonomies of fashion include all of these? Taking into consideration the ephemeral nature of fashion and textiles and concerns around preservation, this seminar-workshop will consider not only material objects but also the archival sources of film and photography. 

This event is organized by Nathaniel Dafydd Beard (Royal College of Art), Ellen Sampson (Royal College of Art), Alexis Romano (Courtauld Institute of Art) and Katerina Pantelides (Courtauld Institute of Art), co-founders of the Fashion Research Network (FRN). ( This event is supported by: Royal College of Art, Research Office Student-Led Initiatives Research Fund. 

 Keynote Speaker: Marketa Uhlirova, Director and Curator Fashion in Film/Senior Research Fellow, Fashion History and Theory, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London With: Jane Holt, Senior Research Fellow Archives, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London Dr. Tara Blake-Wilson, Goldsmiths, University of London Lucia Savi, Victoria and Albert Museum Camelia Dewan, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London Caroline Hamilton, King’s College London, University of London.