Art of Dress

In 2014-15 London College of Fashion celebrated the Art of Dress in a project that reflects centuries of ‘dress’ evolution in all its various guises. The project was shown in London, New York, Dubai, Shanghai and Florence.

For centuries dresses have been crafted in many styles and silhouettes. Constructed, deconstructed, decorated, exaggerated, celebrated, desired, berated and adored. A dress or dresses hang in almost every woman’s wardrobe. The most identifiable and memorable dresses are that of occasion wear - cocktail dresses, ball gowns, red carpet wear and those that have foundations in ceremonies, religious, royal, political and national. Each nation has its variants, each designer a different mode, each maker a different technique. Everyone crafts dresses uniquely, as unique as the wearer they are intended for.

The ballgown. A vestige, true, of aristocratic past, but also for a long time the source of much experimentation in fashion.

- Daphne Guinness

Throughout history it is the dress that has always taken the limelight. The dress is a designer’s delight as the body becomes a blank canvas, a playground to create a head-to-toe total look that in couture goes beyond anything we see in the day-to-day. Couture dresses are that of pure indulgence, fantasy, often exaggerated, excessive beauty with a price that reflects the magic of the design and the craft undertaken to execute it.


The strength and determination of London College of Fashion’s staff and students has resulted in a magnificent modern dialogue about the most important item of clothing in a high profile finale, The Art Of Dress. Students across a range of fashion courses at LCF have been working on The Art of Dress in order to bring together all the elements that make a dress so unique, and so magnificent. Students have been examining and documenting their findings to produce a chronology of dresses past through to their own design definition of the dress’ future. Their research has been captured in the form of photos, illustration and sketches, and their designs presented in an exhibition of beautiful dresses.

The dress is the archetypal item of clothing.