Costume Commission - A Study Tour Abroad

Monday, June 17, 2019 - Friday, June 28, 2019
All Day Event

Costume Commission - A Study Tour Abroad: Discover British Costume Collections...

This event is sponsored by the Arts University Bournemouth

When costumer and author Mandy Barrington presented research for her first publication, Stays and Corsets: Historical Patterns Translated for the Modern Body at USITT 2016, her goal was to evoke passion and inspiration in her audience.

With Barrington’s passion came an opportunity to dive even deeper into her love of costume — a symposium in the United Kingdom during the summer of 2017. With the idea formulated by USITT’s Costume Commission, the event was born, and Barrington was named its host.

“It was so successful that I was asked to run a second symposium in 2019,” Barrington said. “I am very excited to once again be welcoming costume enthusiasts to the Arts University Bournemouth.”

This two-week program, titled Discover British Costume Collections 2019, is set to take place in and around Bournemouth and centers around the celebration of what would have been Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday. The focus of the symposium will be British Costume for Screen.

Included in the symposium are three workshop days, two overnight stays in London and Manchester, and a theatre performance, so there will be no shortage of innovation, exploration, and design.

“We hope the participants will enjoy seeing beautiful and rare costume pieces, learn how to make a beautiful hat, and be immersed in our English heritage,” Barrington said.

Participants will visit the Osborne House on the Isle of Wight — Queen Victoria’s family home and a retreat from the stresses and intrigues of Court Life. Designed by Prince Albert in the style of an Italian Renaissance Palazzo, Osborne House was built between 1845 and 1851 and is where Victoria felt most at home.

Participants will be given insight into the screening of the successful British television series Victoria, including talks from industry professionals and specialist workshops in millinery where Victorian bonnets will be crafted. A series of visits to see costume collections across the country will also take place.

“It is impossible to recreate a historically accurate costume without appropriate research,” Barrington said. “This research should include social history as well as garment history; understanding fabrics and trims, silhouette and underpinnings. I encourage students to study original period garments where possible. This primary research enables them to see first-hand the construction methods and materials used.”

The study tour will conclude with a two-day visit to The Making of Harry Potter in London, where the fantastic design elements — including set design, costume, props, and more — that went into creating the wizarding world are exhibited. On the final Friday, participants will visit the collections held at The Victoria and Albert Museum.

“Get ready to see some truly breathtaking sites during Discover British Costume Collections 2019. I can’t wait for you to join us.”

Don’t delay. The first deadline for payment is Jan. 10, 2019. For complete pricing, study tour details, and registration, visit




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