I am pleased to announce that the UAL Archives and Special Collections Centre will soon be launching the public catalogue for the University’s Institutional Archive. At present the collection is available to browse in the ASCC, but researchers shortly will be able to use our online catalogue portal to search the collection under the reference code “UAL” and researchers will be able to request and access the records in the same way as the other collections we hold.
This month’s display at LCF Library showcases fashion illustration from our Special Collection. Fashion illustration in simple terms aims to communicate ideas about fashion, but the results are often works of art in themselves. Fashion illustration has numerous outlets such as magazine covers & stories, posters, cosmetic advertisements, lifestyle advertisements, entertainment products and more. LCF Special Collections holds fashion illustration related texts that date back to the early 1900s, so our display starts there and spans the decades up to the current day.
The technical fundamentals of image construction and drawing are covered by texts that outline the practicalities of fashion illustration. Mabel L Hall’s Fashion Drawing and Dress Design (1928) contains beautiful black and red illustration plates outlining anatomy, proportions and poses. Following on in chronological order, Shorthand Fashion Sketching by Patricia L Rowe (1960) demonstrates a rich illustration vocabulary of draping from blouses, necklines, collars, sleeves, skirts, hemlines, hats to coats. The book aims to teach “in the quickest possible time, by the shortest possible method, how to sketch fashions in the most practical way.” Fashion Drawing by John Ireland (1979) responds to varying silhouettes, textures and fabrics as well as demonstrating Ireland’s confident flair for design. These books show the most efficient and accurate ways to execute fashion drawings.
Examples of fully realised drawings are shown in David Downton’s tome Masters of Fashion Illustration (2010) which presents a history of fashion illustration. Leading fashion illustrator Downton selects outstanding artworks by illustrators from the 20th century as well as including a portfolio of his own celebrated works. Fashion Drawings in Vogue by William Packer showcases the work of Carl Erickson, an artist whose work was prominently featured in magazines throughout the 1940s and 1950s. This monograph concentrates on his illustration for Vogue during the war, which undoubtedly influenced fashion and therefore fashion illustration during this period. The most contemporary compendium of fashion illustration in our display comes from The Age of Feminine Drawing from the beginning of the 21st century. It holds numerous examples of fashion illustration from diverse artists specifically focusing on the female form. The book aims to demonstrate “how and why illustration in fashion has made an amazing comeback. Having virtually reached saturation point, photography is no longer the all-powerful medium of creativity, and has once again given way to the age old art of drawing. 
 Patricia L Rowe, Shorthand fashion sketching (New York: Fairchild Publications 1960)
 Federico Gallo, The Age of Feminine Drawing (Hong Kong: AllRightsReserved 2007)
Welcome to our 5th edition of Zinesters in LCF Special Collections, this month we feature Brianna Spencer, you can view her work Women Are Not Hairless Creatures in our zine collection. London College of Fashion Special Collections has an ever expanding fashion zine collection that encompasses gender, body politics, sociology of clothes, hair & makeup, queer theory and more.
Brianna Spencer, Carlsbad, CA
How long have you been making zines for?
I’ve been making zines for about two years now.
What do you like to create zines about?
I like to make zines about…everything. Making zines is like writing in a journal, it’s a form of expression for me. I make zines about skating burritos when I need a little more laughter in my life, about hair when I feel embarrassed about the people staring at my pits on the beach (and then I quickly realize…screw ‘em), about rude avocados when I just can’t stand seeing people live hateful lives, and about love after I realize that everyone has the capacity to feel something special for another, and sometimes I just make zines about dancing cactus, because I need a little prickly friend in my life.
What is your favourite zine/comic/book?
My favorite zine is by Nathaniel Russell, it’s called These Are the Ways in Which I’ve Tried to Tell You because it’s so simple, i t keeps me simple . My favorite comic is Flash, because it reminds me of my dad. My favorite book is George’s M arvelous Medicine by Roald Dahl, because…well that one I can’t explain, just read it and you’ll know.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process..
I draw whenever I can. I prefer to use a brush and ink, but if all i’ve got is a dirty, half-broken crayon, that’ll do. A lot of what I create is based on an emotion, or a need. I will sit down and draw women only speaking spanish because I miss my grandma. At the moment, I work in a very small corner of my bedroom which is incredibly unorganized, but the dream is to have my own studio (and magically inherit the organizational skills of an ant) however I do think that my unorganized
mess of a dresser/desk/dining room table helps maintain a little bit of grit in my life, which I wouldn’t want to live without.
What does it feel like to have your zine/s in the London College of Fashion Library’s Special Collections?
I feel so honored! I have never been in this kind of thing before, but it makes me feel very warm and fuzzy in a way I can’t really explain, but really like!
What influenced Women Are Not Hairless Creatures?
I grew up in a house where the women in my family could not leave the house without turning into naked mole-rats, I mean they had to be totally hairless, even that little fuzz on the tops of your toes was not allowed. I never wanted to be like that, but of course, when I reached that age I tried it all, shaving, waxing, lasering, pulling, you name it…I tried it. And then I started noticing all the negative rhetoric about hair. “Eww she has a huge muff”, and “God, does she even know what a bikini line is?” I realized that I was going to stop being controlled by hair, IT’S JUST HAIR! And many years later, after living a wonderful life keeping the hair I want when I want it, my sister turned twelve, and I wanted to make something that reminded her, hair does not control a woman! A woman controls her hair…if she wants to.
What’s one piece of advice would you give UAL students about zine making?
Just make zines about anything and everything! Nothing is too serious, or too simple to put in a few pages.
London College of Fashion Special Collections has an ever expanding fashion zine collection that encompasses gender, body politics, sociology of clothes, hair & makeup, queer theory and more. Our 4th installment of Zinesters in LCF Special Collections comes from Roechelle Adair, her zine Back to Nappy can be found in our zine collection.
Before a piece from Central Saint Martin’s museum collection goes on public display there’s always work to be done behind the scenes. In the case of conservation, that work is often critical but invisible. Our historic teaching collections tell us about past design and culture, but seeing and handling these objects inspires creativity today. In preparation for the current exhibition Exposed: Highlighting Historic Collections in the CSM Museum, conservator (and Camberwell College of Art alumna) Chloe Mills focused on three damaged wallpaper drops from the CSM Museum.
This wallpaper was designed by John Drummond, a 1949 graduate of the then Central School of Arts and Crafts, now Central Saint Martins. In the decades that followed Drummond established a studio workshop producing designs for among others Cole & Son, Sanderson, Hull Traders Ltd, David Whitehead and Philip Graf. His designs from this period play with myths and legends of the classical world brought to life in almost monumental scale on wallpaper.
Wednesday 18th January saw the opening of ‘RECOLLECTION’ at the Old Big School Gallery, Tonbridge. This exhibition brings together 17 private collections, some being seen in public for the first time. One of the collectors featured is David Usborne, whose collection of tools is held at the University Archives and Special Collections Centre. Objects on display have been loaned from the Centre here at London College of Communication and Heatherwick Studio. David also contributed objects from his own home.
Other collections included in the exhibition contain classic vintage projectors, toys, masks, ceramics, stationery and Dr. Who memorabilia. The exhibition was curated by Emily Glass and is open weekends from 12-4pm until March 5th 2017.
By Georgia Clemson, ASCC Archives Assistant
Image Credit: Georgia Clemson
Stacey Richards, an M.A. Fashion student at London College of Fashion, writes about her experience of curating the library’s January display:
I was given the opportunity to curate the glass boxes, within the JPS campus library. The theme for January was Tailoring, an area I have a strong interest in from my freelance work as a military costumier. At first it was a little daunting, but at the same time it seemed like a great experience to take. My first meeting was to discuss the idea of tailoring and to get a feel for the items I would have access to. The head of the Special Collections, Elizabeth Higgs, met me with me towards the end of December to work through my ideas and to show me what I could use to curate the spaces.
London College of Fashion Special Collections has an ever expanding fashion zine collection that encompasses gender, body politics, sociology of clothes, hair & makeup, queer theory and more. This month we have our third installment of Zinesters in LCF Special Collections, featuring Doctor Popular, whose zine Hair Model can be found in our collection.
It’s December and the Christmas shopping season has been in full swing on Oxford Street for weeks. Despite the increased popularity of online shopping, the crowds still throng to the busiest shopping street in Europe. Oxford Street has welcomed shoppers for centuries. For much of the street’s history, window displays have been used to showcase shop wares and to draw shoppers in. Oxford Street was one of the first to have oil lamps lighting up the street in late 18th century, inviting shoppers to browse the glittering shop window displays late into the evening. When the first department stores opened their doors on the street from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries, they offered shoppers lavish displays and a wide selection of goods. This provided the increasing numbers of middle-class consumers with the convenience of comparing their options under one roof. Simultaneously, department store owners and visual merchandisers encouraged them to spend more by displaying items that demonstrated a more luxurious lifestyle, to which they wanted their customers to aspire.
London College of Fashion Special Collections has an ever expanding fashion zine collection that encompasses gender, body politics, sociology of clothes, hair & makeup, queer theory and more. Following on from last month’s zinester interview, we’re delighted to introduce our second interview. Janell Hoong, whose work Hairstylist, Snazzy Accessories and Sneakers Zine can be found in our collection, discusses her work and inspirations.