Wendy Dagworthy was born in Gravesend, Kent, England, in 1950. She attended Medway College of Art from 1966 to 1968. She studied art and design at the Middlesex Polytechnic from 1968 to 1971.
After graduating, she joined a wholesale manufacturer called Radley, before opening her own business in London in 1972.
Italy, in particular, proved a lucrative outlet for her very English look and during the early 1980's she was exporting nearly halfof her total output to Italy. She had a huge success in selling in the interantional market, in London, Milan, New York and Paris.
She married Jonathan Prew in August 1973.
She started her own concern in 1972. Alongside, in 1975, she joined London Designer Collections, a prestigious collaboration of British designers, who support and promote their industry. In 1982 she became director. She was active in British fashion education, both as a lecturer and assessor, participating in design competitions like teh Royal Society of Arts awards and the British Fashion awards. She remained working with them till 1990.
From 1973 Betty Jackson worked for her for some years, until she started her own label.
Wendy Dagworthy Ltd. exhibited their seasonal collections at trade shows in London, Milan, New York, and Paris. Her international reputation strengthened each season and her work was recognized with several awards including the Fil d'Or International Linen award in 1985. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London even displays a Wendy Dagworthy outfit in their permanent costume collection.
She closed her own business in 1988 although she continued to consult and help out other fashion houses. She became a design consultant to Laura Ashley, Liberty and Betty Jackson and participated in many exhibitions.
Her teaching of fashion and design, has always been a priority with Wendy. From 1989 Wendy Dagworthy was appointed director of the B.A. Fashion course at Central St. Martins College in London. She remained there till 1998. In 1998 she was appointed Professor of Fashion at the Royal College of Art where she is at present.
She has tried to bring in younger teachers and stimulate the students, all of whom are very individual. Great colour and pattern are coming through in their work after Wendy has joined RCA. Wendy has been a judge of many art and design projects, awards and competitions. She is a member of the British Fashion Council's Management Council and the British Fashion Council's Advisory Committee, which is responsible for selecting New Generation designers for London Fashion Week.
Wendy Dagworthy specialized in loose, easy, ready-to-wear shapes in natural fibres, employing resourceful features such as double pockets and detachable hood. There was an immediate consumer demand for Dagworthy designs and prestigious stores placed orders. Her clothes for both men and women were practical and flexible, embracing all occasions and seasons. She enjoyed mixing patterns, textures and colours in a spirited youthful style. Wendy's vibrant colours and prints, embroidered Caribbean style Batiks and swirling floral designs were all very popular. Dagworthy loved to use vibrant colours and prints, embroidered Caribbean style batiks, mixed with stripes or swirling floral designs in fuchsia, scarlet, and orange. Favourite fabrics were mohairs, strongly textured woven wools, and wool baratheas. Her most popular, signature garments were oversize wool coats, back buttoning smocks, circular skirts, and gathered skirts with boldly tied waists, teamed with easy cardigans or wide-cropped jackets. The menswear collections, introduced in the early 1980s adhered to the same lively, colourful themes and quickly emulated the success of the womenswear, being comfortable and easy to wear.