Fashion, the 84th Anglo-American Conference of Historians, 2-3 July 2015


In a major collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, the IHR is taking Fashion as the theme for its annual conference in summer 2015. Fashion in history is a topic which has come of age in recent years, as scholars have turned to addressing what is chic and what is style over the ages and across different cultures. The history of fashion, and the role of fashion in history, is not just confined to the study of dress and costume, but encompasses design and innovation, taste and zeitgeist, treats as its subjects both people and objects, and crosses over into related disciplines such as the history of art and architecture, consumption, retailing and technology.

Across the world, fashion brings together museums, graduate teaching programmes, learned societies and the fashion profession around a common set of interests and concerns. The IHR conference this year, we hope will be a perfect showcase and a meeting-point for the wide spectrum of specialists in this exciting field.

Our plenary speakers include Chris Breward (Edinburgh College of Art), Beverly Lemire (University of Alberta), Ulinka Rublack (Cambridge University) & Maria Hayward (University of Southampton), Valerie Steele (The Museum, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York) and Lucy Worsley (Historic Royal Palaces).

The 2 day conference will include a publishers’ book fair, over 30 panel sessions, exhibition in the IHR and half a day at the Victoria and Albert Museum (including plenary lectures and a museum curator panel session).

A  conference programme is now available.
AACH15 Conference Programme (web)

Registration is now open.  Click here to register online.

To register by post please download and complete this form.

For any queries, please contact the IHR Events Office at or on 0207 862 8086.

SenateHouseLibraryLogoFashion in the Library
29-13 July 2015

The celebrated architecture is not the only thing stylish about Senate House; fashion can be found throughout the collections of Senate House Library and the Institute of Historical Research Library. Some items are more obvious, like the London department store catalogues used to create the new digital resource, Fashion and consumption in the First World War: department store catalogues 1916-17; some are less obvious, such as studies of wool production; and some are hidden in plain sight, like shop advertisements in directories or descriptions in the vast travel writing sources. These two research libraries have made a number of items available for viewing on the first and third floors of the Institute of Historical Research. Perhaps you can help answer the mystery of the Souvenir of the Shakespeare Ball held at the Albert Hall, June 20, 1911, which was found during the Institute of Historical Research’s recent refurbishment, where it had been hidden for decades!

Fashion and consumption in the First World War: department store catalogues 1916-17 is an online exhibition funded by the American Friends of the IHR that showcases some of Senate House Library’s collections of rare fashion catalogues. Collected by peace activist Caroline Playne during the First World War, the catalogues have been digitised at high quality in their entirety and are of interest for both their historic and aesthetic value. The link to the exhibition will be available from the IHR website







 “London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration.”- Alexander McQueen, January 2000

shutterstock_1089283491Yesterday we had a sneak preview of the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A.

The first and largest retrospective of the late designer’s work to be presented in Europe, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty showcases McQueen’s visionary body of work. Spanning his 1992 MA graduate collection to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection, McQueen’s designs are presented with the dramatic staging and sense of spectacle synonymous with his runway shows.

At the exhibition is the hologram of a ghostly Kate Moss, which first appeared in McQueen’s 2006 ‘Widows of Culloden’ show in Paris which was created using the Victorian parlour trick Pepper’s Ghost.

This exhibition is a must see for all fashion fans!

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Tickets
To book your ticket for the McQueen Exhibition, call +44 (0)20 7942 2211 and advise that you are calling to book on one of Professor Bill Sherman’s group bookings* order number 11677 for Friday 3rd July (stating your preferred time slot). Ignore the recording that states if you are buying an individual ticket to the McQueen Exhibition call love theatre- all bookings for tickets should be done through the V&A.

The V&A Bookings will take your name, address, phone no. and email address which the e-ticket will be sent to.

 Available time slots



Prices (No booking fee)
£16 Full
£15 Senior citizens
£9 Full-time students, 12 – 17 year olds, ES40 holders, disabled

* Please note that there are only 20 tickets available per session (180 tickets in total).  After June 22nd some tickets will be released back to the museum.

 Publisher’s Fair

The IHR will host its regular publisher’s fair which will take place alongside the conference in the Crush Hall of Senate House. Delegates will have an opportunity to buy the latest books at discounted rates, and to speak to the various publishers in attendance.
Confirmed publishers include:

  • SAS Publications
  • Cambridge University Press
  • Manchester University Press
  • ProQuest
  • Oxford University Press
  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Palgrave Macmillan
  • I.B. Tauris
  • Routledge- Taylor & Francis
  • Yale University Press
  • Reaktion Books


Registration will take place in the Crush Hall, Senate House (WC1E 7HU) on Thursday 2nd July from 09:00-09:45am (welcome begins at 09:45am) and on Friday 3rd July from 09:00-09:30am (parallel panel sessions begin at 09:30am).  Should you need to arrive late for any reason the registration desk will remain open throughout both days.