Dr Jenny Gilbert

Job: Lecturer in Design Cultures

Faculty: Arts, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Design

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

T: 0116 2577415

E: jenny.gilbert@dmu.ac.uk

W: https://www.dmu.ac.uk


Personal profile

Jenny is a fashion and design historian, whose work focuses upon everyday experiences of clothing and fashion. Her research is primarily rooted in the 20th century.

She completed her PhD at the University of Wolverhampton in 2016. The Hodson Shop Project was an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Collaborative Doctoral Award, working with Walsall Museum.

She is currently working on a large research project exploring the wholesale clothing industry in Birmingham, 1900-1960. Research underpins all aspects of Jenny's teaching - positioning fashion history as a dynamic, exciting and boundary-breaking subject for all students.

She is also committed to impact through public engagement, sharing ideas through community talks/events and broadcasting opportunities. 

Publications and outputs

'Clothing, Care and Compromise: A case study of the storage of the Hodson Shop Collection, Walsall Museum, 1983-2015' in Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales from the Crypt edited by Mirjam Brusius and Kavita Singh, London: Routledge, 2017, pp. 240-252.

‘Key Collection: Red or Dead Spring/Summer 1996’ in Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive (online) edited by Valerie Steele, November 2016.

‘Theme: Animal Print’ in Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive (online) edited by Valerie Steele, November 2016.

Textile History | Review | ‘Design Museum Collection: Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things’ | May 2014

Fashion Research Network | ‘The Importance of Promoting New Research: Reflections on my Experience as a First-Time Speaker’ | January 2014

Publication Pending
'1920s Women's Overalls' in The Black Country: A History in 99 Objects edited by Malcolm Dick and David Eveleigh, Birmingham: History West Midlands, 2018, pp. TBC

Curated the costume aspects of 'From Austerity to Prosperity', Walsall Museum, 2014

Research interests/expertise

Everyday fashion and dress

Clothing in museums

Clothing and the natural world

Clothing and the body

Religion and clothing in 20th century

Qualitative and object-based approaches to research

Colour and costume in French New Wave cinema

Areas of teaching

Undergraduate and postgraduate


Fashion Buying



PhD - 2016 University of Wolverhampton

MA (Distinction) in Popular Culture - 2012 University of Wolverhampton

Courses taught

Design Cultures in Fashion, Textiles and Fashion Buying

Honours and awards

Shortlisted, and attended workshop at Old Broadcasting House, for AHRC and BBC New Generation Thinkers, 2018

Membership of external committees

Member of steering group for the AHRC funded S4S: Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing project (University of Exeter and University of Wolverhampton)


Better Dressed than Birmingham? The Wholesale Clothing Industry in Birmingham, 1900-1960

Purity, Piety and Pants: Religion and Underwear Marketing in early-mid 20th century Britain

The Hodson Shop Project (PhD research)

Current research students

Clare Bowyer - PT, 2nd Supervisor - researching masking, disguise and costume in folk festivals

Externally funded research grants information

Research Activity Grant, The Pasold Research Fund - June 2017 - Feb 2018 Funding for research into the Birmingham wholesale clothing retail industry, 1900-1960

Collaborative Doctoral Award (research funding), Arts and Humanities Research Council - Oct 2012 - Oct 2015 Fully funded PhD

Image of Jenny Gilbert