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Based in the School of Design and underpinned by research excellence in textiles at the University of Leeds, the Yorkshire Fashion Archive is a publically accessible collection of haute couture, fashion garments and everyday clothing. It provides a unique historical and cultural record of Yorkshire life and documents clothing produced, purchased and worn by Yorkshire folk throughout the 20th Century. The collection reflects changing social attitudes and multi-cultural influences, economic prosperity, global trends and the regional technical excellence in textiles and clothing over a 100 year period.

Many of the garments have been donated with accompanying photographic images, information and anecdotes concerning the piece itself, the wearer or the situations in which they were worn. As we progress further into the 21st century, it is imperative that we continue to gather evidence of Yorkshire history from this new perspective before the voices are lost forever. To develop and support the findings, film footage will be examined through collaboration with the Yorkshire Film Archive.

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Recent exhibitions from the Yorkshire Fashion Archive:

‘Wool Re-Fashioned’: An innovative collaboration between the Yorkshire Fashion Archive and The Woolmark Company.

Friday 7th September – Wednesday 2nd January 2013

Gallery 2, Salts Mill, Saltaire.  BD18 3LA

This exciting exhibition was timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of Salts Mill as an art space and cultural destination.

The exhibition is the product of a unique collaboration between students and staff in the School of Design, University of Leeds, UK and The Woolmark Company. The rationale behind this project was to create modern garments using selected pieces from the Yorkshire Fashion Archive for inspiration and to relate dress to its historical, artistic, social and economic context.

The archive pieces all have a link to Yorkshire in the 20th century.  Ranging from the 1940’s to 1980’s, on show are  designer labels such as Issey Miyake, Comme de Garcons and Ossie Clark, through to high street favourites Laura Ashley and Marks & Spencer and also exquisite home-made wedding dresses.

Written research and original archive photographs support the garments on display.


‘Dress Rehearsal’

Salts Mill, Saltaire, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD18 3LA

16th April-15th May 2011  

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