Key facts

A non-hierarchical approach to archive-building and the exhibition it enabled

ARCHIVE

Westminster Menswear Archive, launched 2016 (mensweararchive.com)

EXHIBITION

Invisible Men, Ambika P3, University of Westminster, London, October 25– November 24, 2019

ROLES 

The project was devised and led by Professor Andrew Groves. Groves directed the establishment and funding of the collection; he developed the archive with menswear archive curator Dr Danielle Sprecher and co-curated the exhibition Invisible Men with Sprecher; he collaborated on early public exhibition works with Robert Leach.

FUNDING

University of Westminster / Quintin Hogg Trust Menswear Archive Fund – £350,000 (2016)

CreatorsGroves, Andrew
Description

Groves led the project to establish and launch the WMA in 2016, with the purpose of redressing the historical omission
of menswear in collections of dress, fashion research, and fashion exhibitions. As an archive, the WMA is conceived as a
distinct non-hierarchical approach to the collection and taxonomy of cloth-based objects, challenging the orthodoxy of
traditional approaches to dress history. The WMA’s collection principle and taxonomy proposes instead a parity of objects, by interspersing workwear, uniforms and designer garments. The exhibition Invisible Men explored the design language of menswear and exposed its reliance on a fundamentally unquestioning reworking of archetypal functional garments of “the working man.” The exhibition enhanced understanding of the material design language of menswear, which focused predominantly on the replication of garments intended for specific industrial, technical or military use. It also addressed how this absence denies opportunities to understand male dress and masculinities. Over a period of 18 days, Invisible Men attracted 5,692 visitors, while its press and media coverage achieved an estimated 1.12 million coverage views. The exhibition gained significant international press and media coverage, indicating that there is a significant public interest in menswear as a distinct design discipline. Garments from the WMA are scheduled to be seen at Manchester Art Gallery for Dandy Style in 2021, and the V&A and National Army Museum in 2022.

Portfolio itemsInvisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Invisible Men Conference
Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Year2019
PublisherUniversity of Westminster
Web address (URL)https://www.invisiblemenexhibition.com/
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.34737/qqq4v

Portfolio items

Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Sprecher, Danielle and Groves, Andrew 2019. Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive . Ambika P3, London 24 Oct - 24 Nov 2019

Invisible Men Conference
Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2019. Invisible Men Conference . Invisible Men Conference. Ambika P3 29 - 29 Oct 2019

Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2019. Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive.

Related outputs

Through a Lens – A comparison of contested masculine identities as reflected in clothing, place, and portraiture
Groves, Andrew, Jenkinson, Jo and Earnshaw, John 2022. Through a Lens – A comparison of contested masculine identities as reflected in clothing, place, and portraiture. Futurescan 5: Conscious Communities . The University of Leeds 07 - 08 Sep 2022 Association of Fashion and Textiles Courses.

A casual obsession: Inside the British Sock Fetish Council
Groves, A. 2022. A casual obsession: Inside the British Sock Fetish Council. Critical Studies in Men's Fashion. 9 (2), pp. 187-206. https://doi.org/10.1386/csmf_00059_1

Face masks from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Groves, Andrew 2021. Face masks from the Westminster Menswear Archive. Online Dec 2021 - Jan 2023

Clothing the Pandemic: A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World
Sprecher, Danielle and Groves, Andrew 2021. Clothing the Pandemic: A Virtual Exhibition of COVID-19 Face Masks from Around the World. 23 Dec 2021

C.P. Library
Groves, Andrew and Sprecher, Danielle 2021. C.P. Library. Darwen Library, Lancashire 01 - 30 Oct 2021

Undercover – From Necessity to Debris: The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19
Groves, Andrew 2021. Undercover – From Necessity to Debris: The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19. London Gallery West 08 - 28 Jun 2021

Undercover – From Necessity to Debris: The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19
Groves Andrew 2021. Undercover – From Necessity to Debris: The Pollution of Face Coverings During COVID-19. https://opensea.io/collection/undercover-from-necessity-to-debris 11 May - 05 Jun 2021

Undercover – From Necessity to Luxury: The Evolution of Face Coverings During COVID-19
Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2021. Undercover – From Necessity to Luxury: The Evolution of Face Coverings During COVID-19. Online 11 May - 05 Jun 2021

Contaminated Objects - Collecting and Exhibiting Face Masks during COVID-19
Sprecher, Danielle and Groves, Andrew 2021. Contaminated Objects - Collecting and Exhibiting Face Masks during COVID-19. Clothing the Pandemic Conference. Online 01 Dec 2021 - 01 Mar 2022 ICOM Costume: ICOM International Committee for Museums and Collections of Costume, Fashion and Textiles.

Undercover: The Migration of Face Coverings During COVID-19
Groves, Andrew and Sprecher, Danielle 2021. Undercover: The Migration of Face Coverings During COVID-19. The Many Faces of Migration: An Interdisciplinary Unconference. online 29 - 30 Apr 2021

In and Out of Fashion - Aligning Education with the International Fashion Calendar
Groves, Andrew 2021. In and Out of Fashion - Aligning Education with the International Fashion Calendar. The Digital Multilogue on Fashion Education. American University of Paris 01 - 02 Oct 2021

Introduction
Groves, Andrew 2021. Introduction. in: C.P. Company 971-021: An Informal History of Italian Sportswear Italy Tristate International SA. pp. 13-15

Undercover
Groves, Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2021. Undercover.

Palliative Prototypes or Therapeutic Functionality? Examining C.P. Company’s Urban Protection Collection
Groves, Andrew 2021. Palliative Prototypes or Therapeutic Functionality? Examining C.P. Company’s Urban Protection Collection. Curative Things: Medicine/Fashion/Art. Leeds Arts University - Online 12 Feb 2021 Leeds Arts University.

Masking Masculinity – An overview of the mask in menswear before and after COVID-19
Groves, Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2021. Masking Masculinity – An overview of the mask in menswear before and after COVID-19. Face Off: The Provocation and Possibilities of Face Masks and Head Coverings. Manchester Metropolitan University 13 - 14 Jan 2021 Manchester Metropolitan University.

Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Sprecher, Danielle and Groves, Andrew 2019. Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive . Ambika P3, London 24 Oct - 24 Nov 2019

Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive
Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2019. Invisible Men: An Anthology from the Westminster Menswear Archive.

Invisible Men Conference
Groves Andrew and Sprecher, D. 2019. Invisible Men Conference . Invisible Men Conference. Ambika P3 29 - 29 Oct 2019

The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress Curated by Matthew Linde
Linde, Matthew and Groves, Andrew 2017. The Overworked Body: An Anthology of 2000s Dress Curated by Matthew Linde. Goethe Institut, 38 Ludlow Street New York, NY 10002 10 Sep - 15 Oct 2017

Symposium: The Vanishing Art of Camouflage
Groves, Andrew 2016. Symposium: The Vanishing Art of Camouflage .

The Vanishing Art of Camouflage
Groves, Andrew and Leach, Robert 2016. The Vanishing Art of Camouflage.

ARCHETYPES
Leach, Robert and Groves, Andrew 2015. ARCHETYPES . London Gallery West, The Forum, University of Westminster Watford Road, Northwick Park, Middlesex HA1 3TP 15 May 2015

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/portfolio/qqq4v/invisible-men-an-anthology-from-the-westminster-menswear-archive


Fire proximity suit by Globe, 2010, Westminster Menswear Archive, 2018
Fire proximity suit by Globe, 2010, Westminster Menswear Archive, 2018