image used: “Two sided bathing suit in striped fabric” – LCF Archive

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.

Susanna Cordner, whom manages the Collections and Archives at LCF, has put together an exciting Events Programme this academic year which are open to all postgraduate students (both taught and research) to attend.


image taken from the LCF Archives

Object Reading Group:

In these monthly discussion groups, participants are asked to ‘read’ and discuss a selection of objects from the LCF Archives collections.  We take an interdisciplinary approach to the sessions and discussions, and encourage students, staff and researchers to apply their different expertise and knowledge bases (whether practical or theoretical) to ‘reading’ the selected objects. As well as highlighting the variety of materials in the archive, the events promote the importance of object based learning in all disciplines, and hopefully highlight some of the different ways in which participants engage with objects depending on their own expertise.

When: Tuesday 10th October 2017, 6.00 – 7.30pm

Where: Room 418B, London College of Fashion, John Princes Street, London W1G 0BJ

1930s Board Work Class, LCF Archives


Spinning Yarns – object-based/inspired creative writing

In a similar vein to the Silent Sessions (see below), at the creative writing events a selection of archive objects are presented in the space, with no additional information or context provided. Participants are invited to observe the objects, and then either select one on which to focus or rotate throughout the session between different pieces. Instead of drawing or close observation, in these sessions the participants are encouraged to write short reaction pieces about the objects that they have selected. While some use this as an opportunity to practice label writing, others write prose or concoct a plot for a short story, using the object as their inspiration point. At the end of the session, over a glass of wine participants share their (often very differing) object interpretations, before the session leader ‘reveals’ the ‘real’ history to each piece (where this is known).

When: Monday 23rd October, 6.00 – 7.30pm

Where: Room 418B, London College of Fashion, John Princes Street, London W1G 0BJ


image taken from the LCF Archvies

Silent Sessions:

While the Object Based Learning group encourages participants to discuss what they see, in the ‘Silent Sessions’ we seek to inspire participants to hone their observation skills and practice ‘slow looking’. For each session, a selection of objects from the LCF Archives collections are displayed in the space, either individually or in groups, and participants work independently to collate information on and react to what they see. Some sessions are run specifically as life drawing groups (with the models replaced by objects…), with support and material on hand, but the intention is for participants to feel free to document their observations in whatever form most suits them – for instance, while some attendees might want to sketch, others may want to write logs or draft object labels about what they can see.

While these sessions are ‘silent’ (perhaps not quite literally..!) to encourage participants to work individually, the groups do tend to discuss their work and findings over a glass of wine at the end.

When: Tuesday 7th November 2017, 6.00 – 7.30pm

Where: Room 418B, London College of Fashion, John Princes Street, London W1G 0BJ


Susanna Cordner in conversation with Henry Holland

Sartorial Stories:

In our ‘Sartorial Stories’ series of In Conversations, Susanna Cordner, Senior Research Fellow – Archives, interviews leading figures from the fashion industry and invites them to bring in one item from their wardrobe or from their work. To show you how much an object can represent, and the different ways in which people think about and ‘read’ their clothes, depending on their expertise, this item then forms the basis of the conversation.

Next In Conversation date TBC.


BYOO (Bring Your Own Object):

In conjunction with our Object Reading Group and Sartorial Stories series, in which we explore how much an object can ‘say’, in the BYOO sessions participants are invited to bring in an object which they feel represents a selected theme or word. For example, the series launched in June with an event, in conjunction with the Masculinities hub, at which participants brought in an object which to them represented ‘masculinity.’ As well as introducing their own object and what it means to them to the group, participants were encouraged to ‘read’ each other’s choices, and in so doing opened a discussion on our differing definitions of a particular concept, subject or term.

Each of these events will be a direct collaboration with an LCF Research hub, centre, course or PhD candidate, with the choice of word/theme to be represented and explored coming from that research subject.

When: Tuesday 28th November 2017, 6.00 – 7.30pm

Where: Room 418B, London College of Fashion, John Princes Street, London W1G 0BJ


LCF Archives & Collections

Outside of the events programme, the LCF Archives are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ARCHIVES