Patterns of Fashion Festival

A celebration of Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion books past, present and future

London 1st–4th December 2023

This festival is being held in celebration of Janet Arnold’s book series Patterns of Fashion, of which The School of Historical Dress is now the publisher. Six books in the series will soon be available and volumes 1 to 4 are in new enlarged colour editions. The subjects covered during the festival will be related to patterns published in the past, those available in the present and those planned for the future. We will also be launching our new book series Case Studies.

Download the FULL PROGRAMME HERE. Bookings are open ON OUR WEBSHOP HERE. Due to limited space in our School, at the moment the 3-hours time slots for days 3 and 4 are only available to attendees of the first two days. We may release more seats a couple of weeks before the event depending on availability, as well as for the evening event only, on 1 December.

1st & 2nd DECEMBER

The first two days of the festival will be held at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL, near the British Museum. On Friday evening we will rearrange the chairs into smaller groups so that participants can circulate and watch a number of dressings and demonstrations during the evening.

Our two new Historical Dress Awards will be announced during the Festival. The Cut & Construction Award, in honour of Janet Arnold and the Content & Context Award, in honour of Santina M. Levey will be given for research and reconstruction of garments, textiles, tools and other elements related to original objects, in three categories for professionals, amateur enthusiasts and students.

3rd & 4th DECEMBER

The last two days of the festival will be held in The School of Historical Dress, our home at 52 Lambeth Road, London, SE1 7PP, opposite the Imperial War Museum and near the Garden Museum. This historically important building was designed as The Royal South London Dispensary for the Working Poor under the patronage of Queen Victoria in 1842.

On the 3rd and 4th December members of our team will be on site to give guided tours of our teaching/exhibition spaces, our collection stores and our Collection by Colour: No.3 BROWN exhibition which will open for Festival participants in advance of the public opening. We will have displays of items from the Janet Arnold Archive and from our School Collection of textiles, garments, accessories, samplers, paper patterns and sample books.