Fashion

A guide to researching Australian and international fashion, designs, designers, industries, textiles and fabrics, patterns, tailoring, dressmaking, uniforms, accessories, and body art.

Designers

In her book Fashion: a very short introduction Rebecca Arnold tells us that:

Although fashion has remained an essentially collaborative process, in terms of the number of people involved in its production, it came to be associated with the idea of a single individual’s design skills and fashion vision.

She refers to Rose Bertin (1747-1813) who created designs for people like Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) as the most famous early example of an individual who became known as a fashion designer.

The modern fashion industry started with Charles Frederick Worth in London. 

In Australia, designers and labels include G.H.V. Thomas, Suzanne et Cie, House of Shave, Lucy Secor, Charlotte Fifth Avenue Gowns, Haskin House, Shareen, Mr Simon, Elvie Hill, Prue Acton, Georges, Phillipa Gowns, and many more.

Catalogue searches

Bruce White dressmaking at Melb Tech H99.201/1675

For books on particular designers, search for their name, for example:

Databases and archives

The Library has several extensive fashion databases. These can be accessed within the Library by anyone, and outside the Library by Victorian registered Library users.

From our Pictures Collection

H2011.2/3184

Fashion designer Elvie Hill, H2011.2/3184

State Library Victoria

LIBRARY CLOSURE  

As of June 15 2020 the Library is open with reduced spaces and services.

Our Ask A Librarian  reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.