Harlepool’s Northern School of Art students create medieval knights costumes for castle

Costume design students in Hartlepool have been getting some real hands on experience after they were commissioned to make dozens of medieval knights’ costumes for a leading historic attraction.

Friday, 24th May 2019, 18:00 pm
(L  R) Debra Nichol, Learning Officer with The Auckland Project, costume design students Alice Crowe and Emily Deaville and The Northern School of Art Costume Design Lecturer Sally Donegan.

The second year degree students at the town’s Northern School of Art were approached to create 38 historically accurate medieval tabards for Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland.

They will be worn by visiting school children and teachers to help them learn about the 900-year-old castle in a fun and interactive way.

The Northern School of Art Hartlepool

The students were approached by the education team at regional charity The Auckland Project after being impressed with the quality of costumes they designed for the project during work experience last year.

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Student Shannon Swift, 20, from Hartlepool, who coordinated the month-long project said: “After I graduate I want to work in industry constructing and making costumes so the mass amount of pattern drafting and cutting involved with this commission has really taught me a lot.

“The course has really inspired me to sew and its practical-focus and link up with live projects like this work with The Auckland Project is unique.”

Fellow second-year Ilona Haldemann, 20, from Los Angeles in the USA, created the adult tabards and has ambitions to work in Hollywood.

Level 5 costume design students from The Northern School of Art with some of the medieval knights costumes commissioned by Auckland Castle

“The opportunity to work with a real client while still studying has been a great experience,” she said.

And history-buff Elizabeth Billington, 19, from Leeds, said she loved the chance to work on a historical design and found it very rewarding to see the process from start to finish.

Sally Donegan, The Northern School of Art’s Costume Design Lecturer, said: “The commission was a brilliant opportunity for the course and the students to get to work with industry on a live project.”

Auckland Castle, which hosts the spectacular Kynren events, is due to re-open to the public later this year.

Debra Nichol, learning officer with The Auckland Project, said: “The costumes are fantastic, and totally unique, the quality of the design, materials and handiwork has been brilliant, and it’s not possible to find this in standard off-the-shelf costumes.”

People can find out more about the costume design course and others at the next Northern School of Art open day on Saturday, June 8.