V&A Publishing, Edited by Christopher Breward, Philip Crang & Rosemary Crill

An important addition to our contemporary fashion list looking at how South Asian textiles and dress have shaped British fashion

British style has long been enriched by the presence of South Asian textiles (produced in India and Pakistan), from fashionable chintzes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through the Paisley patterns that fed the shawl vogue of the nineteenth century to the adoption of traditional embroideries and Nehru collars by the counter-culture fashionistas of the 1960s and 70s.

In the twenty-first century, the clothing worn by South Asian people now resident in Britain has contributed to an everyday cosmopolitanism in which identity is expressed through language of dress, embracing the street style of Asian youth as well as traditional embroidery and colourful cottons, from sportswear to haute-couture. A recent generation of British Asian fashion designers, photographers, musicians and film-makers has responded to these influences, recasting the traditions of both British and South Asian styles for the mainstream.

With multiple contributions by leading textile historians and cultural commentators, this book is the very first to consider the ways in which the intertwined histories of migration, style and textiles in post-colonial times have contributed to British Asian style today.

Christopher Breward is Head of Research at the V&A. He was a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Fashioning Diaspora Space research team and has published widely on history and theory of fashion.

Philip Crang is Professor of Cultural Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL). Between 2007 and 2010 he directed the Fashioning Diaspora Space research collaboration between RHUL and the V&A.

Rosemary Crill is Senior Curator in the Asian Department at the V&A. Her recent publications include Chintz: Indian Textiles for the West (2008) and The Indian Portrait 1560–1860 (2010, with Kapil Jariwala).

Gavin Fernandes is a Senior Lecturer on the FdA Fashion Styling and Photography at LCF, his images have been chosen to feature throughout this new publication. Gavin’s photographic work is united by an exploration of cultural integration, inspired by autobiographical elements and combined with an analysis of the broader culture within metropolitan life.

Publication date: October 2010

£24.99 paperback

ISBN: 9781851776191

This book has been produced based on the work of the successful Fashioning Diaspora Space research project, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of their Diasporas, Migration and Identity Programme. http://www.diasporas.ac.uk/

For more information about the book contact: Julie Chan, V&A Publishing 020 7942 2701 or


British Asian Style: Fashion & Textiles / Past & Present