'Marion Donaldson' and the business of British fashion, 1966-1999

Halbert, Jade (2018) 'Marion Donaldson' and the business of British fashion, 1966-1999. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3308296


From its establishment in 1966 until its closure in 1999 the Glaswegian fashion design and manufacturing company, ‘Marion Donaldson’, was one of the most successful independent fashion businesses in the United Kingdom. The longevity enjoyed by the company coincided with a period of intense social, political, and economic upheaval in the United Kingdom, the effects of which contributed to the decline and eventual deterioration of the domestic fashion industry by the end of the century. This thesis takes ‘Marion Donaldson’ as its central case study, and uses the history of the company as a lens through which to investigate how the British fashion industry operated in practice, and how individual businesses in that industry collaborated, adapted to change, and coped with the industry’s decline.

Structured around what were the four key sectors of the domestic fashion industry – design, manufacturing, sales, and retailing – this thesis demonstrates the importance of small businesses, collaboration, and balance to the industry as it battled decline. By focusing on a Glasgow example, it adds to the existing scholarship on British fashion and business in the post-war period, and goes some way to offering a corrective to those studies that have focused only on London-centric histories. The history of women’s fashion in the twentieth century has been dominated by metropolitan studies of elite clothing, while the history of mass-produced women’s wear and its associated industries have been overlooked. This thesis redresses the balance in this respect through analysis of evidence from the ‘Marion Donaldson’ Collection and the oral testimony of Marion and David Donaldson, owners of the company. In addition to oral history, the thesis builds on current methodology used in dress and textile history, economic history and the history of business and enterprise culture, and applies it to the wider context of the British fashion industry using a combination of surviving artefacts and traditional documentary sources.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available once any embargo periods have expired.
Keywords: Dress history, business history, fashion history, Glasgow, fashion design, fashion manufacturing, fashion sales, fashion retail, Marion Donaldson, Post-war British history, Scottish history.
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
Funder's Name: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Supervisor's Name: Abrams, Professor Lynn and Moskowitz, Dr. Marina
Date of Award: 2018
Embargo Date: 30 April 2024
Depositing User: Dr Jade Halbert
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-8993
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 04 May 2018 09:55
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2024 12:12
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.8993
URI: https://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/8993
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year