Documenting Fashion | A Dress History Blog

This is a blog that documents fashion – as image, as object, as text, as an experience, and as an industry.

Written by Rebecca Arnold, Oak Foundation Lecturer in History of Dress and Textiles, and current postgraduate and research students of the history of dress at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, it provides a platform to show our current work, and our responses to dress-related matters we see around us.

We aim to share our ideas, show you items from The Courtauld’s collections, and generally discuss anything that we think is interesting and provocative about fashion now, as well as in the past.

We will update regularly, with interviews, images and comments that analyse dress history and encourage debate about what fashion is, was and will be.

Cut-Out D.

Henri Matisse, Cut-Outs.
- Dries Van Noten, Fall 2014.

Exhibition Matisse at Tate Modern, London:

Exhibition Dries Van Noten at the Musée Arts Décoratifs, Paris:


- Helmut Lang, Leatherr Coat, Summer 2000.
- Michael E. Smith at The Power Station, Dallas, 2014.
- Helmut Lang, Shoes, Spring/Summer 2003.
- Michael E. Smith at The Power Station, Dallas, 2014.
- Helmut Lang, Top, Fall/Winter 1999-2000.

Minimal Seams, Minimal Weight

- David Bailey, “Marvels of Form”, Vogue July 1967, “Bride” Gown by Balenciaga.
- Sol LeWitt, Complex Form #46, 1989.

Hiking Hawk.

- Miu Miu Fall 2014.
- Thomas Struth 

A Shared Sense of Femininity

- Ann Demeulemeester, White Shirt, S/S 1992.
- Ann Demeulemeester, Art Installation “Woolgathering”, 2000.
- Patti Smith, Selfportrait,1971.
- Ann Demeulemeester, Tank Top “Woolgathering Collection”, S/S 2000.
- Still from documentary “Dream of Life” (2008). Ann Demeulemeester and Patti Smith bringing flowers to the grave of English poet, painter and printmaker William Blake.


Blue Red Yellow and Black 

- Jacquemus Fall 2014
- Joan Miro 


- Marni Fall 2014.
- Henri Matisse, Laurette in a green robe (black background), 1916, oil on canvas, 73 x 54,3 cm. 

Sunday Smooch

- Paul Klee, The Twittering Machine (Zwitschermaschine), 1922.

- Vionnet, Ready to wear Spring 2014.


Anonymous Foreign Spectacles

- Maison Martin Margiela, Couture Spring 2014
- Gaugin, Maternité II, 1899.

A Spanitalianity

- Picasso’s Las Meninas.
Giambattista Valli, Spring Couture 2014.

To Undress, To gain Nudity

- Christian Dior Couture (Raf Simons), Spring 2014.

- Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957).

Cold Pastel before the Storm hit the Fur 

- Tracy Emin
- Phillip Lim 3.1, Summer 2014.
- Patrick Caulfield

I’m Feeling You. Happy 2014.

- Patrick Caulfield.
- Phillip Lim 3.1 Spring 2014.
- Yutaka Sone, Sculpture.

An Anonymous History of the Creating Individual.

- Junya Watanabe, Fall 2000.
- Maison Martin Margiela, Couture, Fall 2013.
- Ann Demeulemeester, Spring 1992.
- Ulrich Wulff at Tif Sigfrids, Los Angeles.