Rebecca Arnold


Former affiliation
  • Strand, Somerset House

    WC2R 0RN London

    United Kingdom

1994 …2020

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Rebecca Arnold was educated at King’s College, London (BA Hons History, 1990), The Courtauld Institute of Art (MA History of Dress, 1993) and University College London (PhD, 2006). Before joining The Courtauld Institute of Art in 2009, she was a Research Fellow and Lecturer in the History of Design Department at the Royal College of Art and a Visiting Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. In 2006, she was the first Guest Professor at the Centre for Fashion Studies at Stockholm University. In 2001, she set up and ran the BA (Hons) Fashion History and Theory at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design.

Research interests

  • Ready-to-wear fashion
  • Interwar French couture
  • Fashion and modernity
  • Dress and the body
  • Dress and the senses
  • Film and fashion
  • Dress and the everyday
  • American fashion
  • Documentary Photography



  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts  


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 

Special Awards, Honours & Distinctions

  • Expert Series Editor for Oxford Encyclopaedia of World Dress and Fashion, (10 vols.), Oxford University Press, USA - Winner of the Dartmouth Award (2011)


Rebecca is an active contributor to varied global print and digital media and sees this as an important aspect of subject dissemination and promotion. Most recently, she has been cited in British VogueFinancial Times, The New York TimesThe Daily Telegraph, The Boston Globe and written articles for MaterialCosmopolitanand CNN online. She was part of a livestream panel on New York Fashion Week for interview for HuffPost Live. She was also in two episodes of 3DD for Sky Arts internationally syndicated series Passion for Fashion 2: Givenchy and Yves St Laurent.


Rebecca is contacted regularly by diverse media for advice and consultation. Recently she has consulted for Document Studios and contributed to its work for Gap, as well as working with major advertising firms on projects to revitalise ready-to-wear brands.

Other Ongoing Activities

  • Editorial Board Member, Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture
  • International Advisory Board, West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History & Material Culture
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of Association of Art Historians
  • Member of the Historical Association 
  • Member of the College Art Association
  • Member of the Institute of Historical Research
  • Member of the Society of Authors
  • Governor, Pasold Trust


  • BA History of Art Year 3: Fashion and Photography: Viewing and Reviewing Global Images of Dress
  • MA History of Art: Documenting Fashion: Modernity, Film and Image in Europe and America, 1920-60

PhD Students

Recently Completed

  • Lucy Moyse, ‘Danger in the Path of Chic: Violence in Fashion between the World Wars, in London, Paris and New York’
  • Elizabeth Kutesko, ‘Fashioning Brazil: Globalization and the representation of Brazilian women’s dress in National Geographic since 1988’
  • Katerina Pantelides, ‘Russian Émigré Ballet and the Body: Paris and New York c.1920-1950’
  • Alexis Romano, ‘Constructions of ‘Modern’ Design, 1952-1973: Pret-a-Porter, Paris, and the Image of Women’
  • Michelle Jones (RCA), ‘Tweeds and Tiaras: London Couture and the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers,’ 2015
  • Clare Backhouse, ‘Seventeenth-Century Print and Dress: the Ballads of the Samuel Pepys Collection’, 2012



Education/Academic qualification

American Looks: Sportswear, Fashion & the Image of Women in New York, 1929-1947, University College, London


Vivienne Westwood’ s Use of Art Historical Sources, 1970-1993, The Courtauld Institute of Art

Sept 1991Jul 1993

The Influence of the East India Company’ s Imports on the Spread of Fashions in Lacquered Furniture, 1660-1710, King's College, London

Sept 1987Jul 1990

External positions

London College of Fashion


Kungshogskola, Oslo


Royal College of Art


Victoria and Albert Museum


Centre for Fashion Studies, Stockholm


London College of Fashion


Royal College of Art


Middlesex University


Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design


Kent Institute of Art & Design


Surrey Institute of Art & Design



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