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LCF Collections and Archives

Photo of a pink ballet shoe resting on a perspex stand

London College of Fashion has a range of collections held by the Library and in the College archives. These inspiring collections cover all aspects of fashion.

College Archives

About the LCF Fashion Archives

LCF Archives are a teaching collection and research resource that we utilise to inspire and engage students, staff and the public. They hold a set of eclectic and eccentric collections that explore the history of London as a fashion capital.

We collect material that reflects the full fashion cycle – from concept and design, and process and production, through to finished pieces and press and promotional materials. We also frame fashion as a social subject by looking at the personal and political stories our clothes can tell about us.

Our services and how to engage with the Archives


LCF Archives are working remotely, developing and delivering services, workshops and resources that you can access independently or as a part of your course and studies. You can visit our LCF Archives LibGuide for more information.


UAL students and staff can request access to the LCF Archives Moodle site, for updates, recommendations and event listings for our online workshop programmes.

Our staff and student SharePoint sites host videos, worksheets and other resources inspired by, and that give access and insight into, our objects.

How to get in touch with the LCF Archives team


Please email the LCF Archives team at archives@fashion.arts.ac.uk (please note that this account is monitored Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) or LiveChat with us on Wednesdays at 2-4pm via the LCF Archives LibGuide.

For introductory information on some of the collections our Archives hold please see below.

C&A Archive

Garments and fashion advertisements designed by Marrit Seck produced by C&A Ltd., clothing retailers and manufacturers. Additional materials relating to the history of the company in the UK from 1922 to 2000 are held in the UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre and include slides, photographs and information on advertising campaigns from 1940-1990. Collections Catalogue.

Cordwainers College Archive

Developed to support the teaching of footwear design and construction, the shoe collections contain over 650 shoes from 1780 to the present day. Images and descriptions from the Cordwainers College Historic Shoe Collection are accessed via the Visual Arts Data Service.

EMAP Archive

This collection contains key trade journals published by EMAP for the fashion, clothing and retail industries dating from the 1880s. Journals included are the Drapers Record, Menswear and several footwear trade titles.

Gala Collection

The collection contains scrapbooks of clippings from newspapers and magazines, publicity and promotional photographs and materials for Gala Cosmetic, Crystal Products, and Miner's Cosmetics from 1939-1952. Images and descriptions of this collection are available on the Visual Arts Data Service.

Hayes Textile Ltd. Collection

A very large collection of textile swatches and pattern books showing the varied patterns and colours used by Hayes Ltd, a British company, to design and manufacture head clothes for the Nigerian market from the 1960s.

History of the London College of Fashion Collection

The collection contains items relating to the history of London College of Fashion, from its original trade schools at Barrett Street, Shoreditch, Clapham and Cordwainer's School. The collection contains photographs, administrative papers and other materials documenting the teaching and related activities for dressmaking, embroidery, shoemaking, leatherworking, tailoring and hairdressing, including some examples of students' needlework; and the Ethel E Cox Collection, Head Mistress at Barrett Street Trade School from 1915-1950. About 1000 black and white historical photographs of the College can be accessed via the 
Visual Arts Data Service.

Louis Bund Collection

Louis Bund Ltd supplied textile flowers to London's fashion and clothing trades. The collection contains a salesman box with 252 sample flowers and individual vintage flowers.

Mary Quant Make-up Collection

A collection of 30 items of make-up from Mary Quant's make-up range from the 1960s. Mary Quant was a fashion designer, influential in the 1960s.

Menswear Collections

Examples of 20th century tailoring including a collection of suits by Tommy Nutter (on loan Alistair O'Neill); suits by Savile Row tailors Huntsman and Henry Poole; and other men's garments.

Paper Patterns Collection

The collection contains commercially published patterns for home dressmaking,1920s-1970s. Images and descriptions of the front covers can be accessed via the Visual Arts Data Service.

Tailoring and Garment Production Collections

Documents and ephemera from trade bodies, companies and organisations involved in tailoring. Includes the Business Archives Council Collection, Cooling Lawrence and Wells Collection, London Alliance of West End Cutters Collection, Tailor and Cutter Academy papers, and the Basic Tailors and Outfitters Assistants' General Friendly Society Collection.

Victor Stiebel Sketchbooks

Three sketchbooks from the London based couturier, working between 1940s and 1960s. Images and descriptions of many of the sketches can be accessed via the Visual Arts Data Service.

Women's Home Industries Archive

The collection contains knitting patterns, visitor's book, press cuttings, stitch books and garments from the Women's Home Industries (also known as Beatrice Bellini Hand Knits) from 1947 to 2005. The company was established by Baroness Swanborough to revive and develop couture hand and home knitting with the garments exported (primarily to the USA and Canada).

Womenswear Collections

The Archives contain several collections of women's dress from the 1920s to 1990s. The key collections were given by the Korner Family, the Ann Barr Estate, Miss Hester Borron, and Jenifer Rosenberg, as well as from other individuals. The collections include couture day and evening wear, mass produced clothing, homemade items, hats, underwear and accessories, as well as printed ephemera.

Woolmark Photographic Archive

The collection contains photographs of womenswear and menswear (couture and prêt a porter) and related promotional materials. The collection covers the period of 1940 to 1970s. Please note this is an extensive collection. For description of the collection and images please visit the Visual Arts Data Service.

Library Collections

Library Special Collections are currently not available to view

The Library holds the following collections:

Special Collections

The Library Special Collections contain rare and historical fashion books and periodicals that reflect the unique collections of dress and fashion related subjects within the library.

Highlights include: tailoring books dating back to the 1800s, fashion zines, Visionaires, 'Active Resistance' by Vivienne Westwood, LCF PhD theses, and books written by LCF staff both past and present. All items can be found via Library Search.

Currently Library Special Collections are not available to view

Materials Collection

The Materials Collection is a reference collection of fabrics, textiles, sustainable and other materials. Currently, it is not available to view.

Start your materials research online via the Materials Collection subject guide.

  • The Materials subject guide includes:
  • video tutorials and guidance for materials research
  • key materials resources for online research
  • recommended viewing and listening
  • guidance on sourcing materials
  • making and experimenting with materials
  • information on sustainability and design

Support

The Materials and Products Coordinator is available to provide support online via email, Blackboard Collaborate or Microsoft teams from 1pm - 4.30pm, Monday – Friday.

If you would like some assistance or wish to schedule a 1-to-1 materials advice session please email: materials@csm.arts.ac.uk

Contacts

For information about the College Archives please contact
archives@fashion.arts.ac.uk

For information about the Library Special Collections please contact
specialcollections@fashion.arts.ac.uk

For information about the Library's Materials Collection please contact
materials@fashion.arts.ac.uk