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Special Collections: Fashion Collection

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:

Access to the Fashion Collection

The Fashion Collection is an assortment of clothes, accessories, fabrics and haberdashery items which date from Victorian times to the current day. This is held in the Sheppard Library which is accessible to Middlesex University staff and students.

The collection is housed in the Materials Room (Sheppard Library:Basement) which is usually open 12pm to 3pm Monday to Friday (term-time).

Peter Jensen and Meadham Kirchhoff Collections

We have also been lucky enough to acquire some garments from the designer Peter Jensen and also the partnership Meadham Kirchhoff.

These are held in the Materials Room, as part of the Fashion Collection.

Peter Jensen bag

Peter Jensen, handbag

Detail of Dress

Detail from Afghani dress held in the Fashion Collection

 Motif from dress in Fashion Collection

Fashion Collection Catalogue

The Fashion Collection

        Victorian bodice

The Fashion Collection is a collection of clothes, accessories, fabrics, and haberdashery items from Victorian times to the present day. This collection of about 2,000 items was put together by a previous head of Fashion, Julian Robinson over 40 years ago. The various garments and accessories were acquired by purchase and donation and include dresses, coats, capes, shoes, hats and haberdashery from Victorian, Edwardian periods through to the 1970s. We have added to the Collection with more recent acquisitions. The Collection is kept in the Materials Room. 

The Collection is kept in the Materials Room (Sheppard Library, Basement) and is usually open from 12pm-3pm Monday to Friday during term-time.  If you can't visit the room between these hours you may be able to book an appointment by contacting Objects from the collection can be studied or photographed in the Materials Room or may be borrowed by members of staff.


Working with the Fashion programme we have improved the diversity of our Key Pieces collection by adding some exciting new garments from a clutch of young designers, such as Grace Wales Bonner, Martine Rose and Sindisco Khumala.

Dress by Sindisco Khumala

Key Pieces

Image of Levi 501's from Fashion Key Pieces Collection

We have added some new classic fashion items to the Collection, sourced by fashion staff. These include:

  • a black leather motorcycle jacket
  • Levi's 501 jeans
  • a Burberry raincoat
  • 1950s girdle
  • Canada goose jacket
  • Kaffe Fassett jumper
  • Boxing boots
  • Dungarees
  • Parka
  • Goth leather trousers

These will all be loanable and available to borrow for studying.

For more information please come and ask in the Materials Room or click on the link below to view:

Fashion Collection Index

This is an index to the Fashion Collection.  Items are stored in boxes, which have numbers, or on labelled hanging rails.

1900s: 25, hanging rail
1920s: 38, 39, hanging rail
1930s: 39, hanging rail
1940s: hanging rail
1950s: hanging rail
1960s: 84, hanging rail
1970s: 84, hanging rail
Artificial flowers: 80
Babies clothes: 83
Bags: 3A, 3B
Beaded dresses, 38
Beads: 71, 82
Beadwork: 82
Blouses: hanging rail
Boa: 13
Bobbins, lace: 70
Boots: 2B
Braids: 73,74, 75
Buckles: 57
Buttons: 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65
Capes, 10, hanging rail
Children’s clothes: 83
Chinese work boots: 2B
Coats: hanging rail
Collars, lace: 58
Edwardian costumes: 21, 22, 23,24, hanging rail
Embroidery samples: 76
Evening dresses: 38
Fabric samples: 77, 78
Fans: 13
Fancy dress costume: 14, hanging rail
Fasteners: 57
Feathers: 81
Flowers, artificial: 80
Gloves: 13
Haberdashery: 79
Handbags: 3A, 3B
Hats: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Hooks & eyes: 72
Key pieces 85, 86, hanging rail (for lending)
Kimonos: 14
Lace, 58, 59
Lace bobbins: 70
Lace maker’s machine: 67
Motifs, decorative: 76
Nightclothes: 18
Press studs: 72
Ribbons: 74
Samples, fabric: 77, 78
Scarves: 12
Shawls: 12
Shoes: 1,2,2B,3
Stockings: 16
Swimwear: 39
Theatre costume: 14, hanging rail
Threads: 72
Toggles: 62
Tops: hanging rail
Umbrellas: 13
Underwear: 16, 17
Uniforms: hanging rail
Victorian costumes: 21, 22, 23,24, hanging rail
Wood cuts: 66
World costume: hanging rail