Dr Christine Boydell

Job: Subject Leader, Critical & Contextual Studies

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Research group(s): Design Group

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 2078429

E: cboydell@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/humanities


Personal profile

Dr Christine Boydell is a Design Historian who specialises in the history of dress and textiles. Dr Boydell gained her PhD in 1992 for the study of the American freelance textile designer Marion Dorn. In 1996 her book The Architect of Floors: modernism, art and Marion Dorn designs was published. Christine has written widely on fashion and textile history and co-edited with Schoeser a collection of essays Disentangling Textiles' in 2003.  Horrockses Fashions'; Off-the-Peg style in the ‘40s and ‘50s was published by V&A Publishing in 2010 to coincide with an exhibition she curated at the Fashion & Textile Museum, London.  Christine is book reviews’ editor for the journal of the Pasold Research Fund Textile History.  Future projects include the curation of an exhibition on swimwear and resort wear and a book on the textile designer Pat Albeck.

Publications and outputs 


Click here for a full listing of Christine Boydell's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Boydell, C (2010) Horrockses Fashions: Off the Peg Style in the ‘40s and ‘50s, V&A Publications 

Schoeser, M & Boydell, C (eds) (2003) Disentangling Textiles: Techniques for the Study of Design Objects, Middlesex University Press

Boydell, C (1996) The Architect of Floors: Modernism, Art & Marion Dorn Designs, Schoeser, Essex

Boydell, C (2010) ‘Horrockses Fashions and cotton ready-to-wear in the 1940s and ‘50s’, Journal of the Decorative Arts Society, 33: 8-25

Boydell, C (2004) ‘Fashioning Identities: Gender, Class & the Self’, Journal of Contemporary History, 39 (1): 137-146 (review article)

Research interests/expertise

  • History of Twentieth Century Fashion
  • Ready-to-wear fashion
  • Art Deco textiles
  • Post-war design
  • Gender and design
  • Post-war textile design

Areas of teaching

  • Design History
  • Fashion History
  • Textile Design History


  • PhD (CNAA) ‘Marion Dorn: A Study of the Working Methods of the Female Professional Textile Designer in the 1920s and 1930s’, University of Huddersfield, 1992
  • Post Grad Diploma, History of Art and Design, Birmingham Polytechnic, 1982
  • BA (Hons) History of Design (2:1), Manchester Polytechnic, 1981

Courses taught

  • Fashion Design BA (Hons)
  • Textile Design BA (Hons)
  • Fashion Textiles and Accessories BA (Hons)
  • Fashion and Bodywear MA

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Textile Society (executive committee member 1982-7, 1992-2000; hon sec 1993-6; co-editor of Society’s journal Text 1996-2000
  • Design History Society (executive committee member 1987-90)
  • Attingham Society Scholarship Committee Member (1990-4)

Conference attendance

Boydell, C (2012) ‘Reading swimwear in the trade press: a case study of Corsetry & Underwear’, The Natural Body Research Seminar, International Centre for Sports History & Culture, De Montfort University

Boydell, C (2011) ‘The Housecoat: discourses in femininity & domesticity in mid-century Britain’, Developments in Dress History Conference, University of Brighton

Boydell, C (2009) ‘Horrockses Fashions and cotton ready-to-wear 1946-1960’ Ars Textrina International Textiles Conference – Natural Fibres: A World Heritage, University of Leeds

Boydell, C (2001) ‘Marion Dorn’, designers at work’, The Process and Practice of Design Conference, Museum of Domestic Architecture, Middlesex University

Boydell, C (1998) ‘Branded Goods and the Post-War Fashion Industry: a case study of Horrockses Fashion Limited’, Design History Society Conference, University of Huddersfield

Boydell, C (1996) ‘Carpets & Clients’, Royal Institute of British Architects, Heinz Gallery, London.

Boydell, C (1996) ‘Marion Dorn textile designer for the modern home’ Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, New York.

Boydell, C (1996) ‘Freelance textile designers in the 1930s’, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.

Boydell, C (1995) ‘Marion Dorn as a professional textile designer’, National Portrait Gallery, London

Consultancy work

Textile design history, use of historic archives in contemporary products.  Historical advisor to Brookmann Home


Current research students

  • Part-time PhD – Emma Ronald (first supervisor) ‘Patterns of Identity: block printed and resist-dyed textiles of rural Rhajistan’
  • Part-time PhD – Deborah Jewison (second supervisor) ‘Furniture design education in England from 1926 onwards’ (second supervisor)
  • Part-time PhD – Joanne Horton (second supervisor) ‘An investigation into the potential of electro-forming for the purpose of embroidery and embellishment in the context of wearable textiles’ 
  • Part-tine PhD – Claire Lerpiniere (second supervisor) ‘The Textile Archive: curating personal histories and family narratives’

Internally funded research project information

‘The Natural Body: Movement, Dress and Physical Culture’, DMU RIF. Sept 2011-Aug 2012. Team member. Jean Williams, Tess Buckland

Professional esteem indicators

Textile Society’s journal Text 1996-2000 co-editor

Pasold Research Fund Textile History, Aug 2012 to date, book reviews editor

Case studies

Horrockses Fashion: Off-the-Peg Style in the 40s and 50s, V&A Publishing, 2010

Book sales to date – 4800


Audas, J in Selvedge Sept/Oct 2010

Eck, C in Textile History (forthcoming)

Jackson, L in Crafts July/August  2010

Turney, J in Journal of Design History, (2012) 25 (1): 109-111. 

Kinchin, P. (Winter 2010) DAS Newsletter

Horrockses Fashion: Off-the-Peg Style in the 40s and 50s exhibition at Fashion & Textile Museum, London July-Oct 2010

Exhibition visitors 11,000

A short film to accompany the show was produced which was shown at FTM and posted on Youtube (3,000 hits).

Exhibition has toured to: Basildon Park, National Trust April 2011-Oct 2011 (45,000 visitors) so successful its run was extended); National Museums Scotland, Shambellie House March 2012-October 2012

Features on Horrockses book/exhibition:

Saga Magazine (May 2010)

Stella (Supplement to the Sunday Telegraph (18 June 2010), 

Leicestershire Life June 2011, 

V&A Magazine (Summer 2010), 

BBC News (Magazine) website. Lancashire Life’s  July 2010

Lancashire Evening Post (28/6/10)

Oldham Evening Chronicle (21/6/10). 

Interviewed with Boydell onWoman’s Hour (BBC) on 28 April 2010 (and again on Weekend Woman’s Hour 1.5.10). 

Christine Boydell

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