The British Library fashion pages provide a short guide for fashion designers, students and researchers who would like to use the Library's collections for inspiration and a springboard for further research.

News stories

Fashion masterclass showcases Library’s collections

6 December 2018

As part of our second fashion research competition in November 2018, designer Nabil Nayal took part in a research masterclass to share his experience of researching at the Library.

British Fashion Week comes to the British Library

20 September 2018

Fashion Designer Nabil Nayal participated in an exciting collaboration with the British Library to raise awareness of the potential of its vast resources to inspiring fashion researchers and design students.

Library and British Fashion Council unite for fashion project

6 September 2018

The British Library and the British Fashion Council are pleased to be working on a joint project to inspire fashion students to use the British Library archive.

More news stories

Explore more

  • Business & IP Centre

    Access expert advice and support on working for yourself and setting up your own fashion business. This could include business planning, finance, market research and intellectual property, as well as a programme of events, networking and one-to-one advice.

  • Apply for a Reader Pass

    Access the British Library’s collections in the Reading Rooms by registering for a Reader’s Pass. Remember to bring two forms of ID when you come to register!

  • Browse our catalogues

    Our Explore catalogue is your first port of call to help you identify what collections you might wish to see. For more specialist collections such as manuscripts, bookbindings and sounds, use our various other catalogues.

  • Flickr archive

    Explore more than 1 million of the British Library’s images on Flickr.

  • Instagram

    View regular updates about our collections and the stories behind them.

  • Visual arts

    Our visual arts collections include paintings, drawings, prints and photographs.

Blog posts

Do you want to see my butterfly collection?

Friday, December 13, 2019

Posted on behalf of Sara Lucas Agutoli, artist, associate professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, BL Labs Artist in residence and runner up in the BL Labs Artistic Award 2019. Artist: Sara Lucas Agutoli (Copyright: Ilenia Arosio)...

British Library x Charles Jeffrey Research Competition launched: show & tell top picks from the American Studies team

Monday, November 18, 2019

Lora Afric, Languages Cataloguing Manager, reflects on some highlights from a year of fashion collaboration at the Library For the third year running the British Library has worked with the British Council for Fashion on a Research Collaboration Project and...

British Library x Charles Jeffrey Research Competition launched: show & tell top picks from the European Studies team

Monday, November 18, 2019

Lora Afric, Languages Cataloguing Manager, reflects on some highlights from a year of fashion collaboration at the Library The British Library has, for the third year running, worked with the British Fashion Council on the Research Collaboration Project. This year...

Meet our delivery partners: Alison Lewy, Fashion Angel

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Fashion Angel is a fashion business support service offering mentoring, training and access to funding to both start-up and established fashion industry entrepreneurs. Their mission is to bridge the gap between creativity and entrepreneurship by offering industry-specific guidance for fashion...

More blog posts

Case studies

…I use my experience of travel to try and develop something real and honest, and most importantly to create beauty within my design.…

Joint winner of our 2019 fashion competition Victoria Lyons tapped into the resources of the British Library to develop a photographic series on which she modelled a set of fabrics.

…While visiting the British Library in search of inspiration, I found myself fixating on examples of intricacy and intimacy seen throughout the building. …

Joint winner of our 2019 fashion competition Andrew Froud from the University of Brighton took inspiration from the Library’s collections to design his set of textiles.

…Fashion as an art form is a powerful voice and should allow its participants, designers and wearers alike to celebrate life and personality.…

Fashion student Cristiana Alagna from Ravensbourne University used the Library’s photography collections and depictions of 18-19th century clothing to inspire her own set of textiles.

…I was delighted that it was possible to flick through manuscripts, missals and Books of Hours from the past centuries through the British Library’s online catalogue.…

Louise Desoeuvre from Bath Spa University used the British Library to research Renaissance paintings and WW1 photographs to design a garment inspired by religious and military dress.

…My concept was a fashion collection which focused on expressing the beauty of imperfection, lived experience and individuality through textiles.…

Alanna Hilton was the winner of a competition run by the British Fashion Council in collaboration with the British Library and fashion house Teatum Jones to create a fashion portfolio telling a story inspired by the British Library’s collections.

…Elisabeth Nilsson came to the British Library to research prototypes for her autumn/winter Once Upon a Time fashion range, during her final year of a Fashion BA at the University of the Creative Arts in Epsom.…

Elisabeth Nilsson came to the British Library as part of her research for a competition to create a fashion portfolio telling a story inspired by the Library’s collections.