Patterns of Fashion Award Winner 2013

Winner Hermione Gibbs, University of Glamorgan

1660-5 Bodice

Hermione Gibbs won the 2013 Patterns of Fashion Award with her reconstruction of  a 1660-5 Bodice. Judge Alistair McArthur, Head of Costume at the Royal Shakespeare Company, commented:

‘I felt that Hermione had really developed her skills throughout this piece to produce a truly remarkable achievement in hand sewing, construction and concentration. She was unable to handle or accurately photograph the original and therefore had to discover the correct processes through detective work and using her own initiative. I was impressed by how she had referenced menswear construction during the period. I also loved the fact that she’d made two toiles to make sure she had it right and that, if she were to remake it, she’d keep it in a pillowcase to protect it!

Her accompanying folders displayed ingenuity, care and consistency; the inner corset construction alone was well documented and thorough. I was impressed with her practical approach given the tight budget. Nothing was sacrificed by making the bodice in calico with satin trim. The line was beautiful and I also liked that she hadn’t chosen a ‘pretty’ costume, but one upon which success would rely solely upon her techniques. If you’d placed this inside a glass case, I’m sure it could have passed for an original garment. I felt that she would have had a go at this even if it wasn’t for a competition; just to see if she could do it. For all of these reasons, she was the winning finalist.’

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