Dr Bethan Bide

Dr Bethan Bide


I have an interdisciplinary academic background that encompasses cultural geography, design history and English literature. In 2017 I completed an AHRC CDA funded PhD entiled ‘Austerity fashion: rebuilding London fashion after the Second World War, 1945-1951.’ This was supervised by Professor David Gilbert at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Beatrice Behlen at the Museum of London. Prior to this I worked as a producer and production co-ordinator, making comedy programs for BBC Radio and comedy theatre tours.

Research interests

My research centres around the cultural, social and business histories of fashion. It focuses on material objects and explores how these can reveal historic relationships between production and consumption, the development of fashion cities and the relationship between materiality, memory and fashion as biography. 

My research is interested in the intersection between geography and the creative industries and I have written about the historical development of fashion cities and the relationship between fashion and space in London in the 1940s. I am currently researching the business history of the British fashion industry in the mid twentieth century. I am also interested in design for performance and in spring 2019 I was a research fellow at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin, where I worked on a project about historic film and theatre costume design. 

I research the role that fashion plays in museums and I have collaborated extensively with museum curators, most recently on a project about Jewish fashion with the Museum of London. I am particularly interested in researching the histories of ‘everyday’ fashion in museum collections and the stories that are told about these non-spectacular clothes.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education, Middlesex University
  • PhD in Fashion History, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • MA in Fashion Cultures, London College of Fashion, UAL
  • BA (hons) in English, University of Cambridge

Student education

I teach design history, cultural studies and research methods to students across the School of Design. I also supervise research projects related to my areas of expertise.

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>