Menswear Archive


Co-curated by Robert Leach and Professor Andrew Groves

An exhibition by Robert Leach, senior lecturer on the BA (Hons) Fashion Design course at the University of Westminster, and Andrew Groves, Course Director for BA Fashion Design. The exhibition explores the role played by archetypal garments in the modern fashion design process, explaining their sociological, political and stylistic contexts, and their re-appropriation; both as items of clothing and as pieces of functional design in their own right. Six archetypal garments are featured; a Duffle Coat, a Denim Jacket, a Leather Biker, a Military Field Jacket, an MA1 Flying Jacket and a Trench Coat. Each has a rich history, borne from a function, appropriated by fashion and subculture and constantly reinvented for the fashion market. Archetypes is an expansion of Leach’s Thames & Hudson publications, The Fashion Resource Book (2012) and The Fashion Resource Book – Men (2014), in which he explains the exciting process of visual research to the young designer. Alongside each of the original archetypes are the outcomes of the study of those garments by students at the University. Moving imagery locates them in an expanded visual and historic context, including catwalk footage and film extracts, inter-cut with additional research imagery and student portfolio work.