Anushka Tay

PhD research

Working title: The role of dress in the articulation of British Chinese identity

Anushka Tay, a Londan based designer and researcher

My PhD researches British Chinese identity using the lens of diaspora dress studies, exploring how the act of dressing the body incorporates the embodiment of ethnic identity. I analyse the impact of Orientalist and Chinoiserie fashion design and Chinese fashion history on the identity-formation of Chinese-heritage people in the UK. I consider the impact of Chinoiserie and Orientalist fashion design alongside Chinese fashion history, as experienced in the Chinese diaspora.


I recorded a series of dress-focussed oral history interviews from 2019-2021. Visual and material culture are central to my assessment of the affective experience of Chinese dress. My interview analysis is underpinned by close-readings of personal and museum objects, photography, and fashion media and paraphernalia.

I was awarded a competitive Techne scholarship by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council. I’m currently writing up my research, and I study on a part-time basis alongside my freelance design work.