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Fashion and Textiles: Using Objects and Images

Fashion Collection

The Fashion Collection is a collection of clothes, accessories, fabrics and haberdashery items which date from Victorian times to the present day. Some core garments, bags and hats are available to view in detail on Flickr.

You can visit the Collection in the Materials Room, and some key classic garments are available for loan. These include:

  • A Burberry coat
  • Black motorcycle jacket
  • Levis 501 jeans
  • Dickies suit

There is a catalogue of the Key Pieces lending collection available to download from the file below.

Fashion Collection: How to View

The Fashion Collection is made up of different parts, and you can find out more about them by using these links:

Good Quality Images

It is important to use good quality images in your work. This means not only high resolution but good provenance. This refers to the source of the image. Is there accurate, authoritative information about the object? For example:

  • Who is the creator?
  • When was it made?
  • Where can it be found?
  • What is it made of?

Instagram and Pinterst have lots of images, but information about the pictures is often very sketchy. Try to use good quality books, museums, galleries and archives or their websites.

These are links to some good quality sources of images:

Primary and Secondary Sources

As good designers, it is important to find  quality images to use in your work, whether it is an assessed assignment or practice-based research for your studio projects. Where you can, it is sometimes best to use primary sources. A primary source is an actual garment, design or artefact you are viewing yourself in a museum, gallery, shop or archive. You are looking at the physical object, and recording it in some way yourself - by photography, video, drawing, description in words. It is a direct interaction between you and the object.

A secondary source is one where you are looking at someone else's response to an object, it may be in a book, a magazine,  journal article, video, website.

The difference between using a primary or secondary source could be summed up by thinking about an exhibition at the V&A. If you visited and looked at a dress on display, took your own photographs and  wrote about your responses to the garment, you would be using it as a primary source. If you looked at the exhibition catalogue and read  what the author had written about the dress, you are using a secondary source.

Referencing Objects and Using Captions

For guidance about how to reference objects, images and add captions to illustrations in your work, use the link below.