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University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion

London College of Fashion


Reference code(s): GB 2159 London College of Fashion

Held at: University of the Arts London: London College of Fashion

Title: London College of Fashion

Date(s): 1967-2002

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: Approximately 3 linear metres of papers, photographs and videocassettes

Name of creator(s): London College of Fashion


Administrative/Biographical history:

The London College of Fashion has its origins in the first women's trade schools: Shoreditch Technical Institute Girls Trade School (founded 1906), Barrett Street Trade School (founded 1915), and Clapham Trade School (founded 1927). The schools were set up by London County Council Technical Education board to train pupils for industries that required skilled craft labour. The schools ran a variety of courses that included dressmaking, ladies tailoring and embroidery. Barrett Street Trade School ran a hairdressing and beauty course and Clapham ran a millinery course. Men's tailoring and furrier courses were established later. Almost all pupils obtained employment on completion of their courses. Women were employed in the ready-to-wear trade centred on London's East End, or in the fashionable dressmaking and allied trades in the West End, based around the South Kensington and Oxford Street areas. Women working in this area were highly skilled, and the early needle-trade schools in London trained women for this high quality couture work.

After the Second World War and the 1944 Education Act, which required pupils to continue full time general education until 15, Shoreditch and Barrett Street schools were given technical college status. The junior courses were discontinued and senior courses expanded. Management courses were introduced. Barrett Street Trade School was renamed Barrett Street Technical College, and after 1950, began to take on male students. Shoreditch Girls Trade School merged with Clapham Trade School and became Shoreditch College for the Garment Trades, also including men on their courses. The colleges were amalgamated in 1967 to form the London College for the Garment Trades.

The new college was organised into four departments; Design, Clothing, Hairdressing and Beauty Culture and General Studies. In 1968 courses in beauty therapy, fashion writing and modelling were added to the curriculum. By 1970 the college catered for over 3,000 day and evening students from the age of 16 onwards taking examinations for college certificates, City and Guilds and the Institute of Trichologists. In 1974 the Governors supported the recommendation by the Academic Board that the name of the college should be changed to the London College of Fashion. In January 1986 the college bacame a constituent college of the London Institute, merging with Cordwainers College in August 2000.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records relating to the London College of Fashion, 1967-2002, comprising papers relating to course submissions to the Technical Education Council, 1977-1980; course handbooks, papers relating to courses and course validations, 1985; course leaflets for Cosmetic science, Fashion design & technology, Fashion promotion, Fashion futures, Costume & make-up for the performing arts, Media, BA Hons fashion management and Access to fashion business, [1986]; bulletins and newsletters, 1967-1979; prospectuses, 1980-2002; London Institute annual review, 1997;

photographs of students, students' work, interior scenes of the college, 1967-2002; photographs of the HND FDT students' show, 1995;

videocassettes of students' shows, 1980-[2002]; scrapbooks of press cuttings concerning the London College of Fashion and former students, 1975-1993;

audio tapes and transcripts of interviews, [1996], with Mary Wildman on her time as a student at Barrett Street Trade School, 1936-1938, and Eddie Thornton, student, 1963-1965; paper entitled 'Needle trades to the needs of fashion', 1996.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The records are unsorted.

Conditions governing access:

Access to the collection is by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction:

No photocopying is permitted although photographs may be taken at the discretion of the Head of Learning Resources.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

The records are uncatalogued.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Created in the course of business.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Many of the photographs have been digitised and are on the Visual Arts Data Service website:

Related material:

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: Couture or Trade: An early pictorial record of the London College of Fashion Helen Reynolds (Phillimore & Co Ltd, Chichester, 1997). Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: July 2002

Clothing | Textiles
Fashion | Customs and traditions | Cultural heritage
Memoirs | Documents | Information sources
Photographs | Visual materials
Textile arts | Handicrafts
Vocational schools | Higher education institutions | Educational institutions
Vocational training | Training
Primary documents
Technical education
Vocational education

Personal names
Thornton | Edward | fl 1963-2002 | student at Barrett Street Trade School
Wildman | Mary | fl 1936-1938 | student at Barrett Street Trade School

Corporate names
London College for the Garment Trades
London College of Fashion

Oxford Street (north side) | St Marylebone | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
Westminster | London | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe
City of Westminster