Search our site
Search our site

Dr Alice Beard

Senior Lecturer in Design History


I am a Senior Lecturer in Design History with a specialism in fashion history and theory. I graduated from the University of Kent in 1994 with a BA (Hons) in Visual Arts. In 1997 I completed an MA (RCA) in Design History on the joint Royal College of Art / Victoria & Albert Museum course. In 2014 I was awarded a PhD by Goldsmiths College, University of London. My doctoral research reconstructed a history of Nova, the seminal women's magazine published in Britain from 1965-1975.

Before joining Kingston in 2005, I taught courses in the history and theory of design to undergraduate and postgraduate as well as theory and practice students at a number of institutions including UAL, UCA and the RCA. My teaching and research practice is focused on fashion media and the intersections between fashion, design, text, film and photography.

Areas of specialism

  • Fashion media and image making
  • Fashion film and photography
  • Magazine design
  • Post war fashion
  • Gender, dress and the body
  • 1960s and 1970s design and society
  • Oral history and interviewing
  • Design history and material culture


  • 2014 PhD (History) 'Nova 1965-1975: A History', Goldsmiths, University of London
  • 1997 MA (RCA) History of Design, V&A / Royal College of Art
  • 1994 BA (Hons) Visual Arts, University of Kent


My research uses object and image analysis and oral history to reconstruct production and consumption histories across a range fashion media platforms including photography, film, magazines and curation.

In 2004 I curated ‘Beauty Queens: Smiles, Swimsuits and Sabotage' (2004) at The Women's Library, London. This exhibition considered the rise and demise of the beauty pageant in 20th century Britain, from the seaside holiday competitions of the 1940s to the global phenomenon of Miss World. The exhibition was told from the points of view of organisers, contestants and protestors, and used original contest ephemera, costumes, photography, film footage and oral history accounts. In 2006 I curated the sound installation ‘Remembering Nova 1965-1975' at The Women's Library, as part of an oral history project documenting the memories of the magazine's staff and readers.   I have presented papers at conferences internationally and been invited to speak about the history of fashion journalism in the Sixties at the V&A Museum, British Film Institute and the Courtauld Institute of Art).

My publications include articles in Fashion Theory Journal, on ‘Fashion Editorial and the Composite Image' for the ‘Fashion & Photography' special edition (2002), and an analysis of the innovative fashion media platform SHOWstudio for the ‘Fashion Curation' special editions (2008).  I have contributed book chapters on Seventies fashion editor Caroline Baker for Fashion Media: Past & Present (Bartlett, Cole & Rocamora (eds), Berg 2012), and on styling and the construction of a fashionable ‘look' in Hair: Styling, Culture and Fashion (Biddle-Perry & Cheang (eds.) 2008), and a chapter on ‘Fashion and Artifice' for The Cultural History of Hair (Biddle-Perry (ed.) Bloomsbury 2017).

My doctoral research constructing the history of Nova, the revolutionary women's magazine published in Britain from 1965-1975 is currently being developed as a book.


Number of items: 9.


Beard, Alice (2008) Show and tell: an interview with Penny Martin, editor in chief of SHOWstudio. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress Body & Culture, 12(2), pp. 181-195. ISSN (print) 1362-704X

Beard, Alice [Reviewer] (2006) Book Reviews of 'Fashioning London: clothing and the modern metropolis, fashion and modernity' by Christopher Breward and 'Fashion and modernity' edited by Christopher Breward and Caroline Evans. Journal of Design History, 19(2), pp. 176-178. ISSN (print) 0952-4649

Beard, Alice (2002) "Put in just for pictures": fashion editorial and the composite image in Nova 1965-1975. Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture, 6(1), pp. 25-44. ISSN (print) 1362-704X

Book Section

Beard, Alice (2013) Fun with pins and rope: how Caroline Baker styled the seventies. In: Bartlett, Djurdja , Cole, Shaun and Rocamora, Agnes, (eds.) Fashion media: past and present. London, U.K. : Bloomsbury Publishing plc. ISBN 9780857853066

Beard, Alice (2008) Hairstyling in the fashion magazine: Nova in the 1970s. In: Biddle-Perry, Geraldine and Cheang, Sarah, (eds.) Hair: styling, culture and fashion. Oxford, U.K. : Berg. pp. 229-240. ISBN 9781845207915

Beard, Alice (1997) Giving way to modernism : design and research methods for British road signs, 1958-1964. In: Sparke, Penny, (ed.) One-off : a collection of essays by students on the Victoria & Albert Museum/Royal College of Art Course in the History of Design. London, U.K. : Victoria & Albert Museum / Royal College of Art Course in the History of Design. pp. 14-21. ISSN (print) 1851772466

Conference or Workshop Item

Beard, Alice (2005) From hot to cool: a critical reappraisal of Nova Magazine, 1965-1975. In: Media History and History in the Media; 31 Mar - 01 Apr 2005, Gregynog, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beard, Alice (2005) Inside out: the real and imagined spaces of Nova Magazine. In: Locating Design: The Design History Society Annual Conference; 07 - 09 Sep 2005, London, U.K.. (Unpublished)

Beard, Alice (2003) Caught underwears: the body revealed in Nova Magazine. In: Making an Appearance: Fashion, Dress & Consumption; 10 - 12 Jul 2003, Brisbane, Australia. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Tue Jun 19 04:32:41 2018 BST.

Looking for academic staff in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education? Visit the Faculty website

Site menu