Fashion education – impact on Industry

by Lorna Harrington, MA fashion Kingston, UCA Volunteer


When commencing my final major project for my masters, it was natural for me, as a volunteer at UCA, to consider the archives as a starting point for my research.

As a fashion student, I have chosen to look at fashion education and how it has changed and how this is affecting industry.

This is a topic of particular interest, due to the recent cuts to both arts and education which have impacted on the study of fashion.  Some of these themes have been explored within the archive itself. For example, Jigsaw, a magazine published by second year communication design students in 1976, discusses grants for foundation students as well as cuts to teaching staff.

I am particularly interested in looking through past prospectuses, minute books and newspaper clippings within the archive.


Epsom Prospectuses

Prospectuses from Epsom

The images I find will not only be used for my written report but also to inspire my own designs for graphics and printed material relating to the topic of fashion and education. Some of my final major project outcomes will be in prospectuses, fashion show invites and branding for a new course.

To start with, I have been looking through material uploaded onto the UCA Archive Explored Flickr, to give me an idea of what material exists and what will be of use to me.

One of the many items of relevance to my project, is an interview with Audrey Cresswell, head of fashion featured in Jigsaw Magazine in 1976, which gives information about course content, number of students and the course’s links to industry.



As part of my research methodology, I will be interviewing key figures within the fields of fashion and education and so this particular piece will be helpful in forming my own questions for my interviewees. It will also give a sense of what has and hasn’t changed within fashion education.

I also hope to spend some of my final major project, becoming more involved in the archives through helping to curate online exhibitions as well as developing research guides.


The Glob: Students And 1987 Politics

This blog is by Simon Hargrave, ICT advisor, LSS (all political views his own!). Simon reviews The Glob a student produced magazine in the 1980s, looking at politicians during the general election campaign of 1987

The first issue of The Glob, published by students during the general election campaign of 1987, contains many interesting features: there’s a truly terrible poem about curry and lager (starting ‘Curry and Lager is my Gaf’ … you get the idea), a funny cartoon about the trauma of a foot having a boot put on it and a satirical article purporting to reveal the secrets behind Thunderbirds – timely, given that ITV has just re-launched this 60s puppet action series.

But the highlight is an excellent cover cartoon of the leading politicians of the time. Dominating them, of course, is Margaret Thatcher, then at the height of her powers and seemingly invincible, eight years into her 11½ year reign as prime minister. But surrounding her are some long-forgotten opponents and colleagues. Nigel Lawson, now better known as non-scientific climate-change sceptic, and father of Nigella, but then the chancellor of the exchequer and credited with delivering an economy then enjoying a house-price boom.

His predecessor at the Treasury, Geoffrey Howe, is also there, gradually being shifted sideways by Mrs T. Both he and Nigel would eventually fall out with her over that never-ending Tory obsession, Europe.

Labour were seeking to recover from their disastrous  campaign of 1983, when they had polled their lowest share of the vote since becoming a major party over 60 years before..

Never mind getting back into government, Labour had to see off the challenge from two parties in the middle: the Liberals and the Social Democratic Party, the latter having been formed just before the previous election by disaffected Labour MPs. Still separate parties, they were led by David Steel and David Owen respectively, shown in the cartoon as a two-headed beast.

Under Labour’s young, dynamic and energetic leader, Neil Kinnock, it was generally agreed that their 1987 campaign was slick, professional and effective. It was certainly better than the Two David’s, which largely consisted of them touring round the country in a coach, wearing horrific matching jumpers.

Towards the front is TV’s first confrontational interrogator of politicians, Robin Day. He appears to be proffering a question to the person in the foreground. This man I initially thought, was supposed to be Thatcher’s guru, the cerebral but troubled right-wing thinker, Keith Joseph. Nicknamed the ‘mad monk’, he did actually look like the Munch-like screamer depicted. But, no, is he supposed to be the harassed voter, driven mad by the campaign.

In this, the cartoon shows that cynicism about politics is nothing new- that, all too often, we are tempted to dismiss them as being all the same and that voting makes no difference, when it certainly does. The Tories and Labour had distinctly different visions for the country in 1987 and, had Labour won, we would be living in quite a different place now. As it was, the Tories were swept back into power in another landslide. Labour did manage to see off the SDP-Liberal Alliance, but they were still a long way from regaining enough support to win an election. It was to be another ten years before they managed that.

Now, more than ever, we are told that all the politicians are in it only for themselves and that all the parties are the same. The rise of UKIP is symbolic of this as they try to portray themselves as outsiders and challengers of this status quo. But listening to Ed Milliband’s speeches on big business, worker’s rights and taxing the rich, it is clear that Labour is more different than their main opponents than they have been for a generation.    So rather than turning away, dismissing them all, we should engage, debate and, above all, vote.

This cartoon is just one page of many available for you to view at:

Simon Hargrave



What’s in the Epsom Archive? Not just a Room of Dusty Old Books.

Not just a Room of Dusty Old Books.

As the archive room is relatively new at Epsom, tucked away near the equipment hire, it might not have surfaced on your radar. I thought I’d share with you some of our finds to entice you to visit us.

Leighton and I are Gateway Advisers by day but have volunteered to help in the Epsom archive room (as Rebekah Taylor the actual archivist is based in Farnham.) We open the room twice a week to students and staff and during that time have come across some real treasures.

For instance, who is this glamorous member of staff photographed on a Fashion Department outing to Ascot in 1962?

Espom School of Fashion staff

This is just one of the photographs and newspaper clippings lovingly preserved in a scrapbook covering 1961 to 1995. It’s a real insight into UCA Epsom through the ages. A brilliant place to start your research as there are examples of fashion through the ages, student unrest, politics, sexism…. It’s all there when you start to read.

Graphic design students may be interested to know that the archive room houses a vast collection of books published by ‘The Diagram Group’. If you are unfamiliar with their work, they specialise in detailed diagrams, charts, maps and illustrations. The group is also responsible for the hilarious ‘Diagram Award’ presented each year to the book with the oddest title. Awards in the past have been given to ‘Living with Crazy Buttocks’ in 2002, ‘Bombproof your Horse’ in 2004 and ‘Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way’ in 2010.

Not only do we have the books but all the original artwork and layouts. From ‘Card Games’ to ‘Early Man’, ‘the Sex Lives of Animals’ to ‘How to be a Success’!

Epsom Diagram Group How to be a Success

We have zines and artists’ books galore, some created by UCA staff, which are marvellous sources for fine art, illustration and graphics. We have student publications like ‘Jigsaw’ from 1976 created by 2nd year Communications Design students. Their brief was to create a newspaper each day for one week and they feature news, interviews, recipes, tips, cartoons and small ads.

For Royal family fans, there are copies of fragile, old newspapers from the 1930’s of King George V’s demise, King Edward’s abdication and the Coronation of King Edward VI. We have the 1953 edition of ‘The Times’ and the ‘Picture Post’ covering Queen Elizabeth’s coronation and the more recent Royal Wedding Souvenir of Charles and Diana.

There are a plethora of Victorian handwritten letters and postcards regarding Art school business. They are such wonderful examples of Victorian copperplate writing; unfortunately now a dying skill. This memo dates from 1896 and is just one of many acceptances to the opening ceremony of ‘The Epsom Technical Institute and School of Art’ in 24th July and shows beautiful penmanship.

Epsom handwritten

So why not give us a visit? We are open during term time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3pm or by special request. Ask at the Gateway desk or email

Tiffany Gregory, Advisor, Library & Student Services, Epsom campus

David Birch, Landscape Artist, Donation

UCA has received a donation of work that was created by the Artist David Birch. Information on the collection can be found here

David Birch (William Henry David Birch) (1895-1968) was the Principal of the Epsom School of Art and remained in post until 1961. David Birch was born in Epsom, and was also a student of the first Principal William Henry Osmond (1865 – 1943) in the years before The Great War. Birch was a renowned landscape painter and member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters following in the Constable tradition.

Material of David Birch’s will be of interest to Fine Art and Illustration, and is currently in the process of being catalogued

Material we have of David Birch includes:

-Two oil paintings of David Birch’s both showing landscapes, one untitled, one entitled ‘Slate Quarry’. Both paintings were exhibited at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters exhibition. Catalogues are held at the V and A in the National Art Library. Both paintings were exhibited at the V and A

– Book jacket designs, for a number of publishers, including Oxford University Press, satirical cartoon drawings, and proofs and cuttings of book illustrations

– 90 black and white photographs of oil paintings (scenic views, Norfolk, Wye Valley, Black Mountains etc) and 12 images colour-printed for a calendar

This work was created from 1918-1920s

This collection is located in Epsom