Patterns of Fashion Award Winners 2024

On Saturday 6th July, the Costume Society announced the Patterns of Fashion 2024 award winners at the Society’s Annual General Meeting held at the Fashion and Textiles Museum.

The Patterns of Fashion Award honours the work of dress historian Janet Arnold (1932-1998), a founder member of the Society, through the recreation of historical extant garments that feature in her seminal book series. The award promotes Arnold’s methodological approach to historical dress research and now also includes Norah Waugh’s key publications. The awards are an important part of the Costume Society’s output that promotes the high standard of craft and artistry within costume.

Three finalists were selected for the Patterns of Fashion Award and the students exhibited their costumes and research at the museum for judges and Society members to view. The entries for Patterns of Fashion were judged by Carol Lingwood, a freelance costume production manager, costume supervisor and assistant designer who works across theatre, film and events. Carol was Head of Costume at the National Theatre for over twenty years.

The Patterns of Fashion 2024 Winner: Danielle Dulchinos

Danielle, a student at Carnegie Mellon Univeristy, recreated the ‘Closed Gown & Petticoat in Green Silk’ c. 1780-90 from a pattern taken from the new volume Patterns of Fashion 6. The gown is an exquisite replica of the original made in a pale pink figured silk and completely hand sewn. The level of detail is incredible and Danielle even cut down her modern, wider fabric to replicate the original width of the eighteenth-century fabric and also included ‘all the piecing that was noted in the pattern’.

The embroidery, she says, "was an extremely time consuming part of this project, with each 4” section taking over two hours to complete". Danielle approached the project with a modern maker’s mindset, but only understood the original maker’s mindset as she worked through the construction of the gown, demonstrating how much can be learned from reconstruction of historic dress. Danielle said of the event on 6th July; "It was really wonderful to get to spend the day sharing my work and passion for costume history with the judges and Costume Society members (and getting to see the Biba exhibit as well was icing on the cake!). I also loved being able to meet the other finalists, share our experiences making each of our garments, and see everyone's projects up close-- everyone did such beautiful work!"

Pattern of Fashion 2024 Highly Commended: Abigail Johnstone 

Abigail, a student at Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London, recreated the ‘Promenade Dress in Shot Silk and Warm Brown Alpaca’ c.1868-69 from Patterns of Fashion 2. The dress features 57 buttons, 9 bows and metres of fringe and braid. Viewing extant garments in museum collections formed an invaluable part of Abigail’s research, particularly the Olive Matthews Collection at Chertsey museum, “in which I could handle similar promenade dresses and really understand the making processes”. The similarity to interior design at the time really inspired her and she said that “you can really see its inspiration in this dress with its dramatic draping, silk fringe and structural design”. Abigail said of the competition: “Having followed the PoF awards for a few years, I loved the celebration of well crafted historically accurate garments. When it came to my third year of study I knew I had to participate myself. I was excited by the prospect of investigatory sewing and this new method of understanding history through the way in which clothes were made."

Patterns of Fashion 2024 Runner Up: Amber Archer

Amber, a student at Wimbledon College of Arts, University of the Arts London, reconstructed the ‘1940 Dinner Dress’ by Schiaparelli published in Patterns of Fashion 2. This wool crepe dress is an iconic acquisition in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection and Amber viewed the dress, which is currently on display in the Fashion Gallery. She explained in her process work that she also conducted primary research at The Guildhall's ‘Treasures of Gold and Silver Wire’ exhibition and through visiting Brick Lane vintage shops to handle extant garments of similar age and material’. Amber described the process of creating the embroidered motif, originally made in gold thread and glass pearls, by using “a combination of the images provided in Patterns of Fashion 2, my own photos, and digital art software to create a scale pattern for the motif, marking out each individual bead and sequin to mimic the original as closely as possible”. The dress featured all the original couture finishes including overcast seams and topstitching. Amber chose the pattern because: “As someone with a particular interest in mid-twentieth century fashion, I would love to be able to specialise in costume-making for this era in my future professional practice. I would also like to continue exploring how modern technology can assist in recreating garments from the past”.

Carol Lingwood said “It was a pleasure and a privilege to be asked to judge the Patterns of Fashion Awards this year, hosted by the Costume Society at the Fashion and Textile Museum. All 3 finalists demonstrated strong cutting, sewing and embellishment skills and choosing a winner was not easy. Congratulations to Danielle Dulchinos whose completely hand crafted 1780-90’s Closed Gown was exquisite and demonstrated her exceptional eye for detail in reproducing Janet Arnold’s original pattern”.

For more information about this award including past winners, please see our dedicated website page.

Sign up to receive occasional updates

Please indicate your consent to our use of cookies

Some cookies are required for our site to function. Optional cookies are used for functionality (remembering recently visited pages) and performance (Google Analytics). Visit our privacy and cookies page to find out more, and manage your consent at any time.