Dr Danielle Sprecher - Curator
Menswear Archive Curator, Danielle Sprecher, was awarded her PhD in men’s fashion and the Leeds tailoring industry from the University of Leeds in 2016. She has worked as a curator with the historic dress and textile collections at Goldsmiths Textile Collection, Leeds Museums and Galleries, The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles and Colchester and Ipswich Museum Services.
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.
In 2006 she graduated from the Royal College of Art and the V&A with an MA (RCA) in the History of Design. Her dissertation ‘One Moment You’re Naked and the Next You’re Dressed: Lavalavas in Polynesia and New Zealand, c.1950-2005’ looked at the adaptation and survival of a Polynesian style of dress through the cultural context of colonisation and migration. After graduating she worked as a freelance curator and taught fashion and design history at the University of East London and the University of the Creative Arts, Rochester.
Professor Andrew Groves - Director
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.