Anushka Tay is a researcher, writer, maker and musician based in London, U.K. She is currently a PhD student at the London College of Fashion, researching Chinese diaspora fashion & dress histories.


Her research combines multiple qualitative methods, from visual and object analysis of garments and their representations, to interviewing and oral history. Her reading of garments is informed by her practice-based background, with a decade's experience as a costume designer & maker in the theatre & performance industries.

Outside of research, she continues her artistic exploration in music, experimenting across genre and period on piano, cello and voice.



  • Object analysis, esp. textiles, dress & garments

  • Material culture, visual analysis, media studies

  • Archival research

  • Conducting interviews


  • Academic writing

  • Grant application

  • Creative writing, poetry & song

Garment & Craft

  • Pattern cutting, draping & adaptation 

  • Sewing, tailoring, costume making for performance

  • Mending & repair

  • Garment alterations and fitting

  • Knitting: 15+ years hand knitting experience garments & accessories; pattern-making and adaptation; lace, cables, texture, unusual shaping


  • English (mother tongue)

  • French (fluent)

  • Conversational German, some spoken Mandarin 

Conference Presentations

2019: Fashion Costume & Visual Cultures Conference

Lille-Roubaix, France (speaker & workshop facilitator)

2019: Fashioning Inclusivity Symposium
London College of Fashion (speaker & convenor)

2019, 2017: Costume & Scenography Student Symposium

Arts University at Bournemouth (invited speaker)

2019: British Chinese Women: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

King's College, London (invited speaker)

2017: International Conference of Dress Historians. INTERWOVEN: Dress that Crosses Borders and Challenges Boundaries

Art Workers' Guild, London

2017: Costume Society 50th Anniversary Conference

Art Workers' Guild, London

Writing & Publication

2017: The Courtauldian Issue 15

Minimalism and Materiality (read online, p.25)

2016: Fashion Studies Journal
My Jacket is Japanese, Not Me (read online)

2013: Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 7

Knits I Have Known and Loved

2013: Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 6

First Autumn Chill


Anushka Knitting by the Piano.jpg

Grants & Awards

2017: Techne AHRC PhD Studentship

full award for PhD fees & maintenance

2016: Costume Society Yarwood Award

for research abroad

2016: Pasold Textiles Research Grant

for research abroad

2016: LCF Fashion Matters Project Bursary

for research abroad

2016: Erasmus+ Study Abroad Grant

2016: Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education Award

for Masters degree 

2016: UAL Access to Learning Grant

for Masters degree 

2015: UAL Vice Chancellors Scholarship

for Masters degree 


2017 - present:

PhD (cultural studies: dress & diaspora)

London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London


MA Fashion Cultures: History & Culture (Distinction)

London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

Including Erasmus exchange at the Institute of Media Studies, Stockholm University


BA (hons) Costume with Performance Design (1st)

Arts University at Bournemouth

Additional Training

2017 - Introduction to Oral History
Oral History Society, British Library