Pamela Church-Gibson

Reader in Cultural and Historical Studies

London College of Fashion


Pamela Church Gibson is Reader in Cultural and Historical Studies at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. She has published extensively on film, fashion, fandom, history and heritage; recent books include Fashion Cultures Revisited: Theories, Explorations, Analysis (with Stella Bruzzi, Routledge, 2013) and Fashion and Celebrity Culture (Bloomsbury, 2012). 

She is the Principal Editor of the journal Film, Fashion & Consumption, which she founded in 2012. In the same year, she hosted the first conference of the European Popular Culture Association and became its first President.

She is now editing a new series for Edinburgh University Press and has concurrently begun a new monograph for the same press, on the screen spies of the 1960s and their impact on images of masculinity past and present. 

She is also embarking on a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project, which will involve heritage and history, cities and consumption, music and spectacle.     

Research interests

Film and fashion, history and heritage, gender and spectacle, cities and consumption.

Research statement

I set up the only MA programme in Fashion and Film four years ago and I was subsequently asked to edit a peer-reviewed journal covering this area, and the first issue of Film, Fashion & Consumption appeared in March 2011. I am the Principal Editor, and three issues of this journal will now be published in the course of each calendar year. I have also been asked to help inaugurate The European Popular Culture Association, backed by the PCA in America; the first conference was held at London College of Fashion in July 2012.

Since the successful conclusion of Shopping Routes, the interdisciplinary ESRC–funded joint project within the Cultures of Consumption programme that involved London College of Fashion, Royal Holloway and the V&A, I have continued my own interdisciplinary research. My new book, Fashion & Celebrity Culture (Berg 2011) explores the complex new relationships within contemporary visual culture. I argue that the developments of the last decade around celebrity culture and luxury brands have altered not only the workings of fashion, but have created more radical changes. The conventional ‘star system‘ of film studies has disappeared, while outside the traditional remit of 'popular culture', the operation of the art world has been reconfigured. I have since published two essays on the ‘celebrification’ of the art world, one in Germany (2011) and the second in Italy (2011). 

I will pursue my interdisciplinary work through new collaborations with partner institutions; discussions with partners in China and the US, as well as the UK, are now in progress.


Current students & thesis titles

Liza Betts, The intricacy of the ordinary and the complexity of the everyday; their translation into screen costume.

Tim Arrowsmith, A biography of black leather and motorcycle practice in post-War British subculture.

Lorraine Henry, Good Guys in Black; Costume & Ethnicity in Hollywood.

Siri Lindholm, The 'Lolita Excuse': Girl-children, representation and sexualisation.

Lucie Russell, WHAT I SEE I OWN? Can fashion/media body images via the process of drawing be re-appropriated to positive effect as part of the creation of a social innovation design tool that can be accessed or shared with groups to question negative body image/s and to build well-being and “body confidence”?

Nichola-Jane Hodgkinson (Stevenson), Nostalgia and the Now: Does anachronism in film costume have validity as part of the dialogue between Film Costume and Fashion? Has it earned its place in the Curation of Fashion History?

Completed students & thesis titles

Ann Bailey, Fashion and the Professional Football Player: The Practice and Consumption of Particular Forms of Male Dress and its Representations 1950-1985.

Neil Kirkham, Simple Pornographers? The Marquis de Sade and the Evolution of the hard-core Pornographic Film Narrative.

Selected research outputs