Should you carve out a career as a costume designer, your key daily duties will include research. It is wise to check out local and national costume displays, so you can familiarise yourself with the process involved in creating authentic fictional clothing. You may be interested to learn that a fascinating new period costume exhibition has just opened in the historic city of York. Helen Beaumont comments…
Period costume exhibitions
It is especially important to conduct extensive research, when looking for inspiration for period costumes. With modern clothing, you can use your real life experiences as frames of reference. But with historical costumes, you do not instinctively know how these pieces were worn and what status they held during the period, so you need to broaden your knowledge base to succeed.
Period costume exhibits can serve as valuable resources for research. For example, a landmark display was recently held at Worchester Cathedral, showcasing costumes from iconic historical British productions, such as Downton Abbey, Poldark and The Danish Girl. A similar exhibition, showcasing costumes used in BBC Two period drama Wolf Hall, has just opened at Barley Hall, in Stonegate, York.
Wolf Hall exhibit
BBC Two’s Wolf Hall was a TV adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s novel of the same name. A global bestseller and the winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize, Wolf Hall chronicled Thomas Cromwell’s rise to prominence in Tudor England. Screened in 2015, the TV adaptation of Wolf Hall was a hit for the BBC.
Local news portal The York Press reports that the exhibit is appropriately titled Wolf Hall Comes to York. Opened this month, the exhibit will run until 31st March 2017, giving you plenty of time to visit. When viewing the display, you’ll be able to see costumes worn by the performers who played vital characters and real historical figures like Thomas Cromwell, Katherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn.
Commenting on the exhibition, Barley Hall Site Manager Paul Roxton said: “We are thrilled that Barley Hall is playing host to six of the most beautiful costumes from Wolf Hall. Our Power and Glory exhibition already explores the complex relationships at Henry VIII’s court, as well as his only visit to the city in 1541, so these elegant Tudor costumes will feel right at home.”
Explore Tudor England
With the exhibition at Worchester Cathedral, you got the chance to learn about late 19th Century/early 20th Century fashion. However this new display at York’s Barley Hall, along with its Power and Glory display, shines a light on Tudor style. It is often harder to create 16th Century costumes, as we know less about clothing from this time, so this display could provide you with a very valuable resource!
About Helen Beaumont
Helen Beaumont’s career started at Camberwell College of Art, where she studied the History of Art and Design, specialising in costume during her final year. After completing study, Helen became a costume buyer for theatre and opera. She has since become a professional costume designer, with a keen interest in period clothing. Throughout her career, Helen has created authentic costumes for prestigious companies such as the Universal Studios, Disney, BBC, Tiger Aspect and the Young Vic Theatre.