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Wimbledon costume success at the Golden Shears Awards

Eleonora's design was influenced by a Norse mythological goddesss
Eleonora's design was influenced by a Norse mythological goddesss
Eleonora Pariselli, Eleonora's design was influenced by a Norse mythological goddesss
, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL | Photograph: Eleonora Pariselli
Written by
John Wallace
Published date
27 March 2019

Savile Row's answer to the Oscars took place at Merchant Taylors' Hall this week and for the very first time Wimbledon's BA Costume for Theatre and Screen students submitted entries.

Congratulations to second year students, Eleonora Pariselli and Lizzie Boot-Handford who’s stylish and inspired tailored creations both made the final.

The Golden Shears is a bi-annual award run by Merchant Taylors, one of twelve livery companies of the City of London. Livery companies, or guilds as they were previously known, began in medieval times as fraternities which were often religious but also there to protect the interests of particular trades.

Tailored garments by Golden Shears finalists Eleonora Pariselli and Lizzie Boot-Handford, both students on Wimbledon's BA Costume for Theatre and Screen.
Left to right: Tailored garments by Eleonora Pariselli and Lizzie Boot-Handford.
, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL

The awards ceremony has been a fixture on the fashion calendar since 1974 and this year’s judging panel which was made up of style and technical experts included David Gandy, Jodie Kidd, Tom Stubbs (GQ, Sunday Times, The Rake), the celebrity stylist Joe Ottaway as well as founder of Montague Ede, Antonia Ede and Will Adams, head cutter at Kilgour.

Kevin Freeman, Course Leader for BA Costume for Theatre and Screen said,

“I am incredibly pleased that second year students from the Costume for Theatre and Screen course at Wimbledon College of Arts were represented at the Golden Shears final.”

The majority of Golden Shears entrants are students and apprentices from specialist tailoring pathways so Kevin is really proud that his students have done so well at the first attempt and puts it down to the way the course is now structured.

“Our ethos is to produce both costume designers and interpreters who have strong making skills that will allow them to display their work confidently within a broad range of contexts. This success validates that intention and recognises the incredibly hard work that Eleonora and Lizzie both put into the cut and construction of their first tailored outfits.”

Tailored jacket and skirt by Eleonora Pariselli.

We asked Lizzie and Eleanora about how they came to enter the competition, and the some of the research and thinking behind their designs. Lizzie said “last summer Kevin contacted us to let us know about the competition and to gauge if we were up to the challenge.

It was at that point I started thinking about potential designs, as we needed to submit rough outlines of what we would be planning enter. The completed garments, for me a trouser and jacket combination, had to be submitted by the end of December together with the final designs. Kevin had already got us started on tailoring as part of the course and we were already making a jacket, so we only had to make the one additional piece in order to enter."

Tailored suit by Lizzie Boot-Handford.

Revealing some of her research and style inspirations, Eleonora explained, “I had become quite fascinated with a Norse mythological story about the goddess of the winter. I wanted to convey some of the goddess’s elegance but in quite a sporty style. Although it is sportswear influenced, my design is not your conventional casual jacket as it has a cape attached. And for my submission I decided to go with a skirt rather than trousers.

And Lizzie? “I wanted to make my outfit stylish and modern, and I started looking at street style from Oslo Fashion Week. I found some great photos of ladies there in these long tailored jackets.”

“Originally it was all going to be bright yellow, but then I went to the fabric shop and because they didn’t have any bright yellow wool I found a lovely dark green and decided to go with that instead. I wanted it to be quite sleek and stylish, but also something you could see someone wearing on the street. I made a straight-legged trouser to go with the jacket.”

I like the mixture of freedom to do what you want, but also the structure of being asked to produce something to a certain set of guidelines. Within those guidelines you can really just go wild with what you want to do.”

Find out more about BA Costume for Theatre and Screen at Wimbledon College of Arts.