Studying Theatrical Costume and other adventures in London - sewing, fabrics and events.

Tag: London

Shopping: MacCulloch & Wallis Ltd

25-26 Dering Street, London W1S 1AT (google map)
020 7629 0311

Based off New Bond Street, this well established shop has been there for over 100 years. Although it is not known for it’s bargains, it is know for it’s range of fine fabrics and trimmings, and it’s haberdashery.

It is always worth a visit if you are in the area and in need of a bit of inspiration. It is also close to John Lewis on Oxford street and in close walking distance of Kleins Haberdashery, or the silk and other fabric shops on Berwick Street.

I went there after visiting John Lewis which was out of Petersham and India tape. MacCulloch & Wallis didn’t fail me.

Cotton and pertersham tapes

Two cotton tapes with Petersham tape in between

First day – Theatrical Costume @ Kensington and Chelsea college

As usual, I turned up just in time. The morning had been going so well, but then there was traffic from Earls court to college and I had chosen to take the bus. Anyway it wasn’t too bad and there was still a space for me in between Lorna and Alex.

Claire, our tutor for the year, gave an introduction about the college, the course, and what was expected.  The theatrical costume course at Kensingtion and Chlesea College (KCC) is based on a BTEC in fashion and clothing level 2 certificate, but you also get a certificate from KCC to say it specialises in theatrical costume. Claire gave us a psychometric test, and quite a few hand-outs which contained a list of London fabric shops and museums we were to visit in the afternoon.

In the hand-outs there was information about our first 2 units: developing production techniques (unit 9), where we will make samples to demonstrate our knowledge and skills; and developing pattern construction skills (unit 7), for which we will make undergarments for a polonaise (1770-1785). The course is made up of 4 units (60 hours each), and we will be doing 2 in the first term and then one each term after.

We were also introduced to Eileen who will be teaching us some of the practical parts of the course – samples etc. Eileen showed us log books and portfolios of previous year students. They were very impressive and a lot of work had gone in to the presentation as well as the content.

In the afternoon I paired up with Kate. We walked to the Victoria and Albert museum to look at the fashion and theatre & performance collections as well as getting distracted through the other rooms. Afterwards we walked to the Wallace collection where I discovered Mary Robinson, an actress, writer and poet who lived from 1758 until 1800.

Robe 'Polonaise' 1775-80 at the V&A

Mary Robinson by John Hoppner c 1780

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