Costume Society Grants and Awards 2019

News of the latest grants and awards from The Costume Society

Costume Society Grants and Awards 2019

All grants and awards are presently under review and a number of changes are planned; the relevant web pages will also be restructured in line with these changes. Please bear with us while updates are made and check back to the Grants and Awards pages for all the latest information. 

As a registered charity with constitutional aims of promoting the study and preservation of significant items of historic and contemporary dress the Costume Society has five sources of funding to support these aims.

Full details about the terms and conditions, application procedures and contact details of the grants and awards will be available when the new round is launched. 

The Elizabeth Hammond Grants are made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of Elizabeth Hammond (1926-2011), a founder member of the Society and a former Trustee. She was a graduate of the Royal College of Art, a teacher, embroiderer, artist and a collector of costume. A sum of £5,000 is available annually for grants towards projects that promote the conservation and display of clothing and clothing-related textiles of all periods, styles and places of origin, held in the permanent collections of accredited museums and those working towards Accreditation in the United Kingdom with an annual gross turnover of about £750,000. Preference will be given to museums with dress and associated textile objects of local or national significance but with limited or no in-house conservation resources. The grants are intended to assist with the costs of a wide range of textile conservation projects, including preliminary assessments of the conservation required for specific items or groups of material, as well as the labour and materials for conservation work. Applications can be made at any time and will be assessed when received, and applicants will be informed of the result shortly afterwards.

The Patterns of Fashion Awards honour the work of the dress historian Janet Arnold (1932-1998), a founder member of the Society.

One award is open to students studying on dress and fashion-related education courses that involve the design and realization pf costume. It is awarded to the student who has, in the opinion of the judges, produced an accurately reconstructed garment from a pattern in one of the Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion books that reflects the high standards presented in the books.

Our judges are leaders in the field and have included Oscar-winning founder of Cosprop John Bright, Alistair McArthur, head of costume at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Jenny Tiramani, Tony award winner for costume design and Principal of the School of Historical Dress.

A second award will be given for Patterns for Performance , a new strand that encourages students to design a period garment for a character in a performance.

The garment should be based on the Janet Arnold patterns as a primary research source, while also taking account of further scholarship, such as the work undertaken by Jenny Tiramani and Susan North. The design must also be based on a character for performance in dance, theatre or opera. The designs and final garment will be expected to extend, expand and develop the theatricality of the original garment.

Initially the design, and supporting research, will be submitted as a toile made in calico, or another suitable but inexpensive neutral-coloured fabric. The toile should have been photographed on a live performer. Shortlisted entries will be offered the opportunity to develop their toile into a fully realised costume. The judges will be looking for a design that is appropriate for the character chosen, while at the same time retaining a sense of period style from the original Janet Arnold pattern. They will be looking at the style and movement achieved in the garment, as shown in the photographs, and how this develops the sense of the character in the period chosen.

The Patterns of Fashion submission dates have now passed and the winners will be revealed at the Birmingham conference in July.  Look out for news of submission dates for the 2020 Awards.

The Museum Work Experience Grant of up to £1,000 funds a student volunteer for a minimum of two months, to work on a dress-related project in a public museum collection in the UK; applications are made jointly by a student and an appropriate museum.

The grant is intended to support students seeking work experience in this subject area and to help UK Museums to accomplish projects essential to the care, knowledge and interpretation of dress collections.

The Yarwood Grant commemorates the dress historian and former chairman of the Costume Society, Doreen Yarwood (1918-1999). With a grant of up to £500 and a one-year membership, it is aimed at helping a MA student engaged in high-quality research into the history of dress and/or textiles with expenditure relating to the completion of their dissertation. It is not intended to help with the overall cost of the degree, but with particular expenses for items such as travel to a library, archive or collection, subsistence while away and archive reproduction fess.

Submissions dates for both of  these grants for 2019 have now passed. Please look out for future news of grants and closing dates for 2020.

Please note that The Costume Society no longer offers bursaries and cannot help with financial support for course fees, or assist with general funding of student living expenses. 

The Costume Society aims to offer grants and awards that result in effective and impressive work. Such grants are not possible without the generous support of individuals and organisations. To support our award funds please visit /site/donate


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.