skip to main content

Professor Alistair O'Neill

Central Saint Martins
Email address
Researcher Research
Alistair  O'Neill


Research interests: twentieth century and contemporary fashion; fashion photography in relation to visual culture; fashion curation and histories of display; London as a fashion city.

I am a writer and curator working in the field of fashion history and theory. My research concerns the representation of twentieth and twenty-first century fashion cultures and the role of surviving material culture and photography as sources.

My work is motivated by working in a fashion programme in an art school, as it offers a mode of interpretation closely aligned to the concerns of design and make. My teaching is closely aligned to my research projects and my students participate as part of their course. I regularly contribute to Aperture magazine.

From April 2018 I am Co-Investigator on the AHRC funded research project, Exploding Fashion: Cutting, Constructing and Thinking Through Things, with my colleague, Professor Caroline Evans as Principal Investigator.

Grants and awards

(Figures indicate amount awarded to UAL)

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council, Exploding Fashion: Cutting, Constructing and Thinking Through Things, £253,674.41, (2018-2020)
  • AHRC, Conservation, cataloguing and indexing of journals held as part of the Emap archive, £110,160.00, (2003-2005)

Research Outputs


Conference, Symposium or Workshop item



Current research students

  • Sally Bolton, The Death of the Fashion Image. (Lead supervisor)
  • Francesca Granata, The Bakhtinian Grotesque in Fashion Design from 1980 to the Present. PhD completed 2010 (Lead supervisor)
  • Matteo Molinari, Crocheting Cultures: contemporary craft practice in Italy and United Kingdom (Lead supervisor)
  • Maria Jose Sacchetti, Minimal aesthetic: The relationships between fashion and retail architecture in New York and Paris, from 1964 to the present day. PhD completed 2014 (Lead supervisor)
  • Spencer Spencer, To be confirmed (Lead supervisor)