Betty Smithers Design Collection at Staffordshire University

Today I visited the Betty Smithers Design Collection in Staffordshire University’s library. The collection is made up of everything from telephones to textiles. Students are allowed to not only view the collection, but also handle the items to really get a feel for the product. You are even allowed to take items out on loan if you wanted to use it for a fashion shoot or a film.

Here is Betty’s daughter being interviewed about the collection. I have also found this interview by Betty herself in The Guardian from 2006. Betty taught fashion at Canterbury college and Stoke-on-Trent college for 20 years and collected vintage clothes that were donated to Staffordshire University.


As I am in the process of launching a childrenswear business I was very interested to see the children’s clothing in the collection, and I wasn’t disappointed. Below are a few of the images I took of some the wonderful items:

Cream Layered Dress (Silk, Edwardian).

Green Dungarees, utilitywear from WWII. Label “British Healthwear”.

Gold Pyjama Top, age 8 (fabric and date unknown).

Nylon Christening Dress (date unknown).


WEEK NINE:Peer Presentations, Print Tutorial and High House Wallpaper

We have three weeks of presentations where everyone in the class is presenting their project proposals to gain some peer feedback. It is really interesting to see what projects the rest of my class are doing and I am excited to see the final outcomes.

This week I also meet with the team at  High House Wallpaper. I am now officially part of the crowd-funding team which is really exciting. We are planning a crowd-funding event year, but in the lead up to it we are focusing on social media to gain more of a presence before starting the campaign. This week I have been working on High House’s Pinterest and creating lots of boards based around the Indian Collection.




Earlier in the week I had a tutorial with Sarah the print technician. She has given me lots of advice and tips (which I have written about in my protected post Design Development – Prints). I am meeting with Sarah again next week and we are spending time in the print room experimenting with different print processes and seeing what my prints look like.