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Fashion design

Fashion design

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    10 December 1938 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sheffield, Kathleen (Katrina) (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by P. C. Sennitt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case FD, shelf 1

Kathleen (Katrina) Sheffield studied at Southend Art School and later at the Katinka School of Dressmaking in London. It was during her studies at the Katinka School in the late 1930s and early 1940s that she made this design as well as a number of others now in the V&A’s collection (E.555-2015-E.614-2015). She subsequently worked for a short time as a fashion designer at Lachasse Fashion House in London which was headed by Hardy Amies and Digby Morton. According to Sheffield’s recollections, Amies and Morton were happy to let her design but some of the cutting-room staff regarded her as an upstart and often changed her designs.

In 1941 she was called up to serve in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. After the war ended she did not return to fashion, as her husband’s job in the Diplomatic Service meant they had to travel around the world. While in Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s she met Phyllis Ross, a Canadian artist and wife of a Counsellor in the Canadian Embassy, who ran art classes. This encouraged her to begin painting again. Once she and her husband returned from postings abroad, they lived in London and subsequently Cambridge where she continued to paint and exhibited regularly. She took part in the Open Studio Scheme in Cambridge until she was well into her eighties.

Physical description

A drawing of a woman in a green, backless gown, with detailing at the waist and neck. The dress is accessorised with drop earrings.

Place of Origin

London (made)


10 December 1938 (made)


Sheffield, Kathleen (Katrina) (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'KATRINA 10-12-38.'
Signed in ink; lower right


Height: 36 cm, Width: 13 cm

Descriptive line

Fashion design for a green, backless gown by Kathleen (Katrina) Sheffield, watercolour and ink on paper, London, 10th December 1938


Paper; Watercolour; Ink



Subjects depicted

Gowns; Dresses


Drawings; Designs; Fashion; Clothing


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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