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HOLDER, Lorna Patricia (b 1952)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4660
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: HOLDER, Lorna Patricia (b 1952)
Date(s): 1975 - 2018
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 1 linear metre
Name of creator(s): Holder | Lorna Patricia | b 1952


Administrative/Biographical history:

Lorna Holder was born in Saint Thomas, Jamaica in 1952 and named Lorna Patricia Walker. She moved to England when she was seven in 1959, to join her parents who had already emigrated.

From 1970-1972 Lorna Holder studied at Derby Art College and went on to study Fashion and Textiles at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire from 1972-1975. During the summer of 1973 Lorna worked at Bloomingdales in New York , which gave her valuable experience of hard work and entrepreneurship. Her tutor at Trent Pauline Denyer was the wife of the well-known fashion designer, Sir Paul Smith. When she graduated, Lorna was the first black graduate in fashion to pass through the university with a BA honours.

Her first job after Trent was working at Mono in London who produced high quality ladies' coats and suits for Harrods and Selfridges. Lorna was adept at sketching and sewing and management and these were key aspects of her job. A boutique near the Hilton Hotel in Jamaica stocked her collection. In 1976 she married Errol Leon Holder, who is a TV Broadcasting Engineer and moved to the Sultanate of Oman. Lorna went into business with the Finance Officer of Oman and managed the Ali Baba Trading Company, which sold garments, local arts and crafts, antique Arab silver Jewry and mahogany chests. Lorna travelled widely to source materials. In 1978 Lorna held the first televised fashion show in Oman at The Holiday Inn, Salalah.

Following their return to England, Lorna began working in 1979 for Davies & Field, a ladies' dress manufacturing company that included Littlewoods as a client for their mail order range. Based at 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Tower Hamlets, she was hired as the Head of Young Fashion and assembled her own chosen team of designers, pattern cutters and sample machinists to work with her. Lorna created designs for major chain stores such as Littlewoods, Etam, Berkertex and Lady at Lord John and the Oxford Street departmental store, Bourns & Hollingsworth. She designed the Justine young fashion range for Littlewoods catalogue and created one of the first celebrity fashion endorsements in a main stream catalogue for the Olympian swimmer Sharon Davies. Lorna left Davies & Field in 1986.

In 1985 Lorna and her husband opened their own Retail hairdressing and beauty salon, called Lapaz, at 15 Camden High Street, Camden. The name 'Lapaz' stems from 'La Paz', the town in which Che Guevara was killed. Paz was also a petname of Lorna given to her by her Great grandmother who lived in Cuba. A second shop was later opened in 101 Notting Hill Gate, Kensington and Chelsea. The economic climate of the late 1980s forced Lorna to abandon the shops in 1990 and start working from home which also suited her in upbringing of her three sons. She created Lorna Holder Couture in 1990 and designed unique clothing for wealthy clients that she advertised in Vogue and Bride magazines. She advertised as an 'Established couture designer. Design and make to clients own specification: Ladies' wedding dress, suits, dresses and separates'. She continued this venture for five years.

Since 2003 Lorna has established Tureg Productions Limited, and Full Spectrum Productions in 2004 as a not for profit company working on a range of arts, community, educational and heritage funded projects including Jamaica Hidden Histories, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The Jamaica Hidden Histories project gave Lorna the impetus to deposit her fashion business archives with London Metropolitan Archives and also funded training for project staff and volunteers who catalogued the records in 2014.

As of 2014 the HLF has funded six projects run by Full Spectrum Productions:
Living Under One Roof (2004-2009) - stage play, exhibition, learning pack - Caribbean migrants arriving in Britain for the first time during Windrush era and the tensions and celebrations of communal living.
The Ones We Left Behind (2006) - stage play, exhibition - The decisions Caribbean and other communities made in leaving their homelands and the impact on loved ones left behind.
Moving Out (2007) - stage play - the contributions that Caribbean people made to industries in Nottingham during the 1950s/60s.
Building Bridges (2008) - documentary - The experiences of the host community in seeing large groups of Caribbean people arriving in Britain after the 2nd World War.
Hanging Out (2010-2012) - exploring 1950s and 1960s youth culture.
Jamaica Hidden Histories (2013-2015) - education project and exhibition - exploring Hidden Histories relating to Jamaica and Britain.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Lorna Holder and her fashion business including her final portfolio and photographs of her end of year fashion show for her graduation from Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham (1975); records of Ali Baba Trading Company, Oman (1976-1978) consist of photographs and film of the first televised fashion show in Oman, and correspondence and greeting cards; Davies & Field records include design sketches and portfolios containing sketches, textile samples and cuttings for female clothing during Lorna Holder's time as Head of Young Fashion (1979-1986).

Records of Lapaz, hairdressing and beauty salon (1985-1990) include premises correspondence, account books, photographs of Black hair models and styles and of the two salons, advertising and reference material including fashion magazines.

Records of Lorna Holder Couture from 1989 include design drawings for couture dresses, order book, and photographs of two dresses made by Lorna.

Records of Tuareg Productions Limited are not deposited. For further information on this company and its projects visit

Records of Full Spectrum Productions Limited consist of the project archive of Jamaica Hidden Histories (2012-2015) which document training, exhibition and events which had the aim to increase awareness of Jamaican presence in Britain. Included are some interviews with individuals of Jamaican heritage. This was the sixth project led by the company. Other projects and records of Full Spectrum Productions are not deposited.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged as follows:
LMA/4660/A - Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham
LMA/4660/B - Ali Baba Trading Company, Oman
LMA/4660/C - Davies and Field, Bethnal Green Road, Tower Hamlets
LMA/4660/D - Lapaz, 15 Camden High Street, Camden; 101 Notting Hill Gate, Kensington and Chelsea
LMA/4660/E - Lorna Holder Couture
LMA/4660/F - Tuareg Productions Limited (not deposited)

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright is held by the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Catalogued by staff and volunteers of Jamaica Hidden Histories Project (run by Full Spectrum Productions and funded by Heritage Lottery Fund) during archival training days in July and August 2014 led by Richard Wiltshire, Senior Archivist - Business Archives, London Metropolitan Archives.

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:
Updated March 2017.

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