Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Prof Andrew Groves
Dr Danielle Sprecher
Special thanks to the following individuals for their support, knowledge and guidance:
Agata Osti, Ben Banks, Lorenzo Osti, Prof Alistair O'Neill, Will Varnam.
Thank you to the following companies and individuals for their help and support of the exhibition:
Adam Marc James, Adidas, Aitor Throup, Alison Ford, Professor Alistair O'Neill, Ben Banks, Ben Reardon, Calvin Klein, Camilla Rivetti, Carlo Rivetti, Carly Eck, Carol Christian Poell, Charlie Porter, Clara Vergez, Cozette McCreery, Craig Green, David Holah, Dora Szilagyi, Emma Davidson, Enrico Grigoletti, Fiona McKay, Garth Be, Giovanni Benvenuto, Helene Hope, Professor Iain R Webb, Ike Rust, Italo Zucchelli, Jelka Music, Jessica Barber, Joe Hunter, John Alexander Skelton, Kerry Taylor, Liam Hodges, Lynn McNally, Michael Kardamakis, Nicholas Yip, Nigel Cabourn, Paulo Romano, Rachael Vick, Rob Armin, Robert Newman, Rosemary Harden, Sabina Rivetti, Sergio Simone, Steven Phillip, Stevie Stewart, Vivienne Westwood, Xenia Capacete Caballero.
Thank you to the following individuals at the University of Westminster for their support:
Annie Vallis, Catherine Hudson, Elaine Penn, Prof Gregory Sporton, Ike Rust, James Reeves, Prof Jonathan Stockdale, Dr Peter Bonfield, Philip Harrison, Robert Leach, Mykaell Riley, Niall Carter.
The Westminster Menswear Archive and the exhibition Invisible Men have been made possible by the generous support of the Quintin Hogg Trust.
Professor Andrew Groves
Professor Groves launched the Westminster Menswear Archive in 2015, the world’s only publicly accessible menswear archive, which has over 1500 examples of menswear from British designers and brands including Craig Green, Liam Hodges, Kim Jones, Aitor Throup, Vivienne Westwood, Mr Fish, Belstaff, Barbour, Burberry, Vexed Generation, and Aquascutum.
The archive is an essential destination for students studying design, and visitors include students from the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, Kingston University, London College of Fashion, as well as industry visitors including Liam Hodges, Rapha, Versace, Hunter, Matthew Miller, Perry Ellis, Jigsaw, Alexander McQueen, H&M, British Fashion Council, The Financial Times, Esquire and Vogue.
Before his academic career Groves worked as a designer in the fashion industry both under his eponymous label as well as for others, most notably Alexander McQueen. Until the mid-1990s Groves was Alexander McQueen’s senior design assistant.
Several examples of Groves’ work are held in the National Collection of Textiles and Fashion at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and additionally the Fashion Museum in Bath.
Dr Danielle Sprecher
Dr Danielle Sprecher is Menswear Archive Curator at the University of Westminster.
A dress historian and curator, Dr Sprecher has worked with a wide range of dress and textile collections. These include the Goldsmiths Textile Collection, Leeds Museums and Galleries, the collection of the Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles, and Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service.
Her AHRC funded doctoral research project ‘Fashion for the High Street: The Design and Making of Menswear in Leeds 1945-1980’ revealed the often overlooked but highly significant role of the Leeds multiple tailors in the history of British men’s clothing and fashion. These companies included the national chains of Montague Burton Ltd (now Arcadia) and Joseph Hepworth & Sons (which became Next in the 1980s). The study took a dress historical approach combining object study, oral history and personal accounts, company archives and trade literature to look at the design, production and consumption of the men’s tailoring made by the Leeds multiples. The research was undertaken in collaboration with Leeds Museums and Galleries.
The history of menswear and masculinities is the main focus of Dr Sprecher’s research. She is particularly interested in the use of methodologies such as object study and oral history to reveal the richness and diversity of men's experiences and relationships with their clothing in the past. Her research also investigates the relationships between design, production and consumption of fashion and clothing with an emphasis on mass produced and everyday menswear.