Westminster University creates world's first public menswear archive

London-based archive is filled with over a century of military and designer wear including McQueen, Margiela, Burberry and more

 

Read the full story and learn what's in the collection here

 

PRESS RELEASE

Haarlem, The Netherlands, September 5, 2017 –  Westminster University, UK - under direction of Fashion Designer and Course Director Andrew Groves - has created the Westminster Menswear Archive. The archive holds designer wear including Alexander McQueen and Burberry, plus more than a century of rare military clothing. Accessible by appointment to any member of the public, the pieces are digitized with StyleShoots machines and uploaded online.

As part of Westminster University’s new Menswear MA course, and Fashion Designer and BA Fashion Design Course Director Andrew Groves has created an archive of rare menswear design. The archive contains thousands of pieces of military-, mens- and workwear. Any member of the public may book an appointment via the Westminster Menswear Archive site.

"There isn’t a [dedicated] menswear archive anywhere in the world that’s open to the public - which at the time I thought ‘there must be’." says Andrew Groves, Designer and Course Director BA Fashion Design, University of Westminster.

"At the moment it covers the last 117 years, so it starts at 1900 and goes to present day. We’ve got a collection of rare Alexander McQueen menswear which is bigger already than the collection at the V&A, right up to really contemporary designers like Craig Green." adds Groves.


"We’ve got a collection of rare Alexander McQueen menswear which is bigger already than the collection at the V&A."

Andrew Groves
Fashion Designer, Course Director BA Fashion Design, University of Westminster

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Designed to inspire the next generation of menswear designers, the archive consists of pieces from the likes of Stone Island, CP Company, Craig Green, Alexander McQueen, Adidas, Jean Paul Gaultier, Belstaff, Barbour, Levis, Jeremy Scott, Berghaus, Nanamica, Penfield, Griffin, and Comme Des Garcons.

“It's pulling together a social history of menswear in this country - which I don't think has ever really been properly looked at” says Groves.

Groves has also created an Instagram page @menswear_archive, where he and his archivist upload unique military and designer pieces. The images are shot using a StyleShoots photo machine installed inside the archive.

"The support has been incredible already. I think what’s interesting about menswear is that it’s a much smaller community and they’re more open and wanting to support each other." says Groves.

"I think it enables us to do things other archives can’t do. It enables us to draw out those connections between military menswear and uniform - and how that has impacted menswear design” adds Groves.


"It's pulling together a social history of menswear in this country - which I don't think has ever really been properly looked at."

Andrew Groves


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About Westminster Menswear Archive

The Westminster Menswear Archive collects, studies, conserves, and presents significant works of technical menswear in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge and ideas. The archive consists of hundreds of garments covering military, workwear, industrial, social and designer.

The Westminster Menswear Archive was founded for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a collection of garments and related artefacts to encourage and develop the study of menswear design from a technical and functional point of view; to advance the general knowledge of menswear as a design discipline, and to be used as a resource tool to inform contemporary menswear design.  

 

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Stephen Warr