Patterns of Fashion Award Winners 2022

On Saturday 9th July, the Costume Society announced the Patterns of Fashion 2022 award winners at the Society’s annual London event held at the London College of Fashion.

The Patterns of Fashion Award honours the work of the dress historian Janet Arnold (1932-1998), a founder member of the Society and is an important part of the Costume Society’s output that promotes the high standard of craft and artistry that they produce.

This year both the Awards celebrated menswear in tune with the society’s year-long focus on menswear and were judged by freelance costume designer Alex Fordham. Three finalists were selected for each Award to show their work on the day.

Patterns of Fashion 2022 Winner: Milly Whitefield chose to reproduce a pattern from Nora Waugh’s Cut of Men’s Clothes. To accurately reproduce this doublet, she undertook thorough research into existing pieces to see how they were constructed, in order to translate that into her own work. This 1625 -1630 doublet is a replica of one the V&A holds and it is completely hand sewn. Milly says that being a completely hand-sewn garment, covering the buttons and buttonholes was particularly challenging and time-consuming but the result turned out beautifully.

Patterns of Fashion 2022 Runner Up: Eleanor Soulsby chose an original waistcoat pattern from Nora Waugh’s Cut of Men’s Clothes and used her imagination to translate the pattern into a stunning design. A recreation of a 1790's Court Suit from the V&A. The coat is made of dyed calico and embroidered with stranded cotton and is hand embroidered and entirely constructed by hand. Eleanor used a wide range of techniques including traditional tailoring techniques, hand embroidery and modern technology such as Photoshop to help with both scaling up the embroidery design as well as creating the digital print for the waistcoat, the pattern of which was not included in Waugh’s book.

Patterns of Fashion 2022 Runner Up: Natasha Bowles made a recreation of a 1615-1620 doublet in the collection at The Hessische Landesmuseum Darmstadt. Natasha dedicated herself to three weeks’ research before starting on any fabric or pattern. She started by annotating the pattern and finding relevant references and source materials from museums, referred to Janet Arnold's notes and even translated a book from German. The finalised Doublet piece is completely hand-sewn, which didn’t allow for any shortcuts or room to cut corners.

The winner of the Patterns of Fashion 2022 won a £500 award, and the runner ups were awarded £250 each.

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