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 was 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 are now available and volumes 1 to 4 are in new enlarged colour editions. The subjects covered during the festival were related to patterns published in the past, those available in the present and those planned for the future. We announced our new book series Case Studies.


1st & 2nd DECEMBER

The first two days of the festival were held at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL, near the British Museum. On Friday evening we organised a number of dressings and demonstrations during the evening.

Our two new Historical Dress Awards were 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 were 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 gave guided tours of our teaching/exhibition spaces, our collection stores and our Collection by Colour: No.3 BROWN exhibition which previewed for Festival participants in advance of the public opening. We had displays of items from the Janet Arnold Archive and from our School Collection of textiles, garments, accessories, samplers, paper patterns and sample books.