Anushka Tay

Dress + Chinese diaspora

I am a PhD student at the London College of Fashion, researching Chinese diaspora fashion, and the dress histories of the British Chinese across the 20th and 21st centuries. My PhD is entitled Chinoiserie Outside China 1945-present. My PhD is fully-funded by an Arts & Humanities Research Council Technē studentship. 

Click here for my Technē student research profile.

​Research methods

My PhD combines several qualitative research methods, including oral history-style interviews, object analysis of material culture, and visual analysis of Chinoiserie fashion artefacts and their representations such as in print and digital media, performance (film, television and stage).

I am strongly influenced by my practice-based background as a designer and maker of performance costume, through my BA in Performance Costume and 10+ years’ industry experience. Prior to commencing my PhD, my work incorporated the study and re-creation of historical tailoring and dressmaking methods.

My hands-on experience in garment construction has proved invaluable when examining physical examples of global historical dress in museums archives, as well as their representations on screen and in print. My research into fashion and dress cultures is thus able to inform multiple fields: design for stage, screen and fashion; handcrafts, particularly tailoring, sewing and knitting; and academic research.

Current Activities

I am now working towards writing up my thesis.

Vintage Cheongsam

A sample of my personal collection of cheongsam from London, Singapore and Malaysia