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Fashion design

Fashion design

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1941 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sheffield, Kathleen (Katrina) (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour and ink on paper with fabric sample attached

  • Credit Line:

    Given by P. C. Sennitt

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, room 503, 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 strapless gown with a black bodice, with a sweetheart neckline and pink flower, and pink skirt with black detailing and pink flowers. Top right is a separate drawing of the gown from the back and top left is a swatch of pale pink material.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1941 (made)


Sheffield, Kathleen (Katrina) (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour and ink on paper with fabric sample attached

Marks and inscriptions

'Katrina Sheffield'
Signed; bottom right


Height: 44.5 cm, Width: 25 cm

Descriptive line

Fashion design for a gown by Kathleen (Katrina) Sheffield, watercolour and ink on paper, London, ca. 1941


Paper; Watercolour; Ink; Fabric



Subjects depicted



Drawings; Designs; Fashion; Clothing


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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