Janice Wainwright was born in 1940, in Chesterfield, UK. She studied at the Wimbledon School of Art, the Kingston School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London.
From 1965 to 1968, she worked for the company Simon Massey, creating many lines under her own name. Then followed 6 year of freelance designing. She worked for some time with Sheridan Barnett.
She set up her own company in 1974.
Her trademark was the use of beautiful, sumptuous high-quality fabrics, most of which she sourced ( and often helped to design) from the best textile producers in Europe and the Far East. The company closed in 1990.
The collection at the Fashion Museum includes a number of pieces by Janice Wainwright throughout her career. In addition, Janice Wainwright has lent a substantial collection of her work from the 1980s to the Museum.
She was well-known for her long lean shapes, sinuous seaming and use of the bias cut. She favoured matt jersey, crepe and soft wool fabrics, which she manipulated into swirling, spiraling outfits that were often full-shouldered. On the left is a blue velvet coat made in London during the mid-80s. It is a fabric compositin of rayon, silk and lurex and the hem and sleeve cuffs are bound in black silk. It has a swirly stripey burn-out design. Intricate embroidery and appliqué trimmings, were distinctive hallmarks of Janice Wainwright's style. Her interest in textiles extended to her involvement with the design and colouring of the fabrics she used for her garments.