Specialist Equipment Resource Store

17 February 2014

Thanks to the Alumni Fund, students on the BA (Hons) Costume Design and Making and BA (Hons) Theatre Design courses are benefiting from an internal tailoring store which has been created so they can buy stock.  Proceeds then help fund future projects.

Senior Lecturer Karen Bartlett put in the request for the fabric store and Mary Charlton, who is a top maker and has years of experience in the industry, also advised.  All fabrics in the store are sorted for easy access.  There are examples of tutus, wigs, corsets and hats for the students to reference.   There are also sample books showing ranges of busks and bowing used to make corsets, which Mary and Karen use to advise students on what materials to use for their projects.

Students use historical drafts and military uniforms as research to create their intricate costumes. A third year student can spend up to 15 weeks on a costume, for example third year student, Kitty Hawkins, has been using the store to create the undergarment structure of a cockerel costume from The Cunning Little Vixen, the delightful opera telling the warming tale of a mischievous fox by Leoš Janáček. 

Karen said: “The store has helped students meet deadlines as they can start making undergarments and build the structure for their costumes using the generic canvas in the store and then order the special top fabric independently, working within the design concept.”

“There are 26 third year students due to graduate in 2014 so the store has been invaluable in their progress.  The BA Costume Design and Making course is unique as it’s one of the few courses that is 50% design and 50% costume making so gives students a very comprehensive experience.”

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