Conference, Costume Society, News  |  July 30, 2019

Patterns of Fashion and Patterns for Performance Awards 2019


Patterns of Fashion and Patterns for Performance held a very successful awards ceremony on Saturday 6th July at the Costume Society conference in Birmingham.

Michel Clapton, costume design for The Game of Thrones and The Crown, undertook the judging, choosing a winner and runners up for each of the two categories. It was very pleasing to see another three strong entries for the Patterns of Fashion award.

Carrie-Ann Stein, a student at South Essex College, won with a beautiful recreation of a 1630s woman’s fustian waistcoat.

Michele Clapton picked out the attention to detail in both the research and execution of the garment. Carrie-Ann was closely followed by two students from the Arts University Bournemouth.

Matilda Tambini Cooper recreating a 1567 black velvet suit, and Kayleigh Steel a morning dress from c1837-41, in bronze silk.

The new Patterns for Performance Award provided an exciting new addition to the society’s awards. Each of the three finalists created a costume for a character in a performance, based on a Janet Arnold pattern.

The contestants submitted initial designs and photos of a toile, to which we responded with comments and suggestions. They then went on to create the finished costume and film it being worn by an actor.

The films were played at the awards and provided a fascinating extra layer of understanding to what the students were trying to achieve.

All three finalists were from Wimbledon School of Art, UAL. The first winner of the award was Clara Gelston with a design for Subtle in The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, based on a 1585 woman’s doublet. Once again, Michele Clapton commented on Clara’s research, but also how she had used the period shape to add strength to a female version of a male character. In second place was Eve Oakley with a costume for Sir Pertinax Surley in The Alchemist by Ben Jonson. Beatrice Darwell-Taylor came third with a design for Violetta Valéry in La Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, based on a c1861 evening dress.

Michele Clapton was impressed by how all the entrants for Patterns for Performance had used period research combined with a contemporary aesthetic to create costume appropriate to the characters.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Michele Clapton for giving up her time so generously to the Costume society. She took time to speak individually to each of the students about their work, an experience that they will remember for her positivity and the encouragement that she gave them.

Follow The Costume Society on Twiitter and Facebook to see more images from the day., and look out for the launch of the awards for 2020.


Joanna Jarvis

  • Carrie Anne Stein, South Essex College, winner of The Patterns of Fashion Award 2019
  • Cara Gelston, winner of the inaugural Patterns for Performance Award
  • Kayleigh Steel, runner up
  • Matilda Cooper, runner up