Patterns of Fashion Study Day News and Reviews

Ambassador reviews from the CS Body and Soul Study Day held at London College of Fashion of 7th July 2018.

On the 7 th  July, The Costume Society held its Patterns of Fashion Study Day at London College of Fashion.  The day began with Cosprop founder, John Bright, judging the Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion Award followed by Michele Clapton, costume designer for The Crown and Game of Thrones, who spoke about her career and design influences.  The final event of the day was a talk about A Regency Gentleman s Wardrobe from the Regency Tailor, Zack Pinsent.  Four Costume Society Ambassadors attended the day and reviewed the talks as follows:



Jade Bailey-Dowling


The Patterns of Fashion Award is an annual celebration and competition based around Janet Arnold s incredibly detailed series of books , illustrating  historic costume taken from  examples in museum collections. At this year s ‘ Costume: Body and Soul ’  Costume Society event John Bright judged his last Patterns of Fashion Award.  Having held the esteemed position of judge for the award since 2012 (with one exception), Bright was faced with four excellent shortlisted creations for his final award.  


Firstly, he talked us through Jennifer s recreated Day Dress from 1893, inspired and based upon a similar dress kept at the Museum of London . Bright spoke of the alternations to the original patterns, and how ‘ making allowances ’  was necessary in certain cases. Bright suggested some padding may have helped the fit of th is  eye-catching dress, with its silver fabric and string of pearl details.


It is important to note here that Bright ’ s  seemingly ‘ harsh ’  criticism was, on his own admittance, only due to the standard of the finalists being so extraordinary!


Following on from this, Lauren s Jerkin and Hat were discussed. Some may remember that the 2016 Patterns of Fashion winner was a leather Jerkin designed by Amy Jones ( /awards/winners/amy-jones ). However, this year s Jerkin was created using a very delicate cream suede, with intricate embroidery and quilting. Bright noted that it could have been made using Moleskin, which may have been slightly easier to work with, but commended Lauren for sticking to the pattern exactly, remarking particularly  on the depth and detail in the embroidery.


Next  to be judged was  Shona s dress created from calico with fringing detail. Bright pointed out that when working with calico accuracy is key a s  the fabric will highlight every single detail. Shona s entry was displayed using a borrowed bustle to give it a truthful shape.


This year saw  the introduction of international applicants, represented in the shortlisted finalists by Jason and his floral dress. Bright commended Jason, emphasising that Jason ha d  only visited the Victoria & Albert M useum once, and had no access to a museum featuring costumes like the one he created. The construction was ‘ extraordinary ’  with an intricate pull e y system creating the layered effect on the skirt.


Jason, deservedly, was announced the 2018 Patterns of Fashion Award winner! After Bright s judging and announcement all the garments and their accompanying research and workbooks were displayed. It was evident that all of the four finalists had worked incredibly hard on their entries, with thorough research, trialing  of techniques and development stages documented throughout.


A huge congratulations to Jason, Jennifer, Lauren and Shona!



Francesca Scantlebury


At the Costume Society s Summer Study Day in early July BAFTA and Emmy award winner Michele Clapton spoke about her role as costume designer for the immensely popular Game of Thrones . It was clear straight away that Michele is very passionate about her work and that the research she completed before starting GOT  helped to build this detailed fantasy world.


Designing everything from armour and clothing to all of the jewellery and crowns featured in the show Michele took on a huge role. As fans will know, there are many, many different locations and characters involved in the show, and it was important to create a convincing environment for each one. This led Michele to take inspiration from all over the world, merging patterns, techniques and materials to create believable and visually pleasing clothing for viewers. In one particular instance of this merging Michele explained how the armour worn in King s Landing shows elements of Renaissance and Italian embellishment, with the cut of the metal deliberately similar to Japanese armour.  


Discussing her thought process and the research she completed before filming began, Michele decided to focus on having distinct colour palettes for different regions. This would hopefully lead to viewers be

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