AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award: Fashion for the High Street

Closing Date: Monday 26th May 2010


Applications are invited for this AHRC-funded three year collaborative doctoral award, entitled ‘Fashion for the High Street. The design and making of menswear in Leeds 1945-1980’, tenable in the School of History at the University of Leeds, in partnership with Leeds Museums and Galleries.

This project will investigate the importance of Leeds in the design and production of men’s fashion in the period after the Second World War. It will draw on the valuable collection of menswear held in Leeds Museums and Galleries and on existing research on the Leeds tailoring industry. It will integrate the history of menswear to understandings of consumerism in post war Britain and the impact of this on fashion and design. With its focus on ready-to-wear garments and the way in which designers shaped the fashion of the high street, this work counterbalances much existing scholarship which associates fashion with couture and elite attire; and which emphasizes the role of London based designers. It will highlight the contribution of such Leeds manufacturers as Hepworths and Burtons to the social change in fashion in the post-war decades.

How much?

The award is tenable from October 2010 and will provide:

* University tuition fees at the UK rate + a maintenance award of approximately £13,300 per year for three years (pro rata for part time students)
* A small additional allowance to cover costs of travel during the award

Research Topics & Sources

The research for the project will involve the analysis of:

1. The unique collection of menswear held by LMG. This includes suits produced by the major Leeds firms of Montague Burton, Joseph Hepworth, John Barran, and Henry Price (later John Collier) and others.
2. Written sources including the business records housed at the Leeds branch of the West Yorkshire Archive Service and in the Special Collections at the University of Leeds; the style books and house magazines and other donated company papers currently located at Armley Industrial Museum in Leeds.
3. Oral sources Interviews with designers (both those currently operating and those employed in the period under investigation) will form an important component of the research, and the doctoral student will also be able to draw on a number of interview tapes held at the University of Leeds and at LMG, which have not previously been analysed for this kind of work.
4. Visual sources: the student will have access to the Yorkshire Film Archive which holds footage owned by Leeds Museums.


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