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Wimbledon performance design Graduate Showcase takes over central London

A woman with her back to the camera peers into a large shop window where three elaborate costumes are on display
  • Written bySarah McLean
  • Published date29 June 2021
A woman with her back to the camera peers into a large shop window where three elaborate costumes are on display
Work by graduating students from BA Costume for Theatre and Screen on display in Victoria.
| Photograph: © Mickey Lee

This year's Wimbledon graduating students are 'taking over' a number of vacant retail units and other key locations in central London in an innovative partnership between businesses and UAL as part of our Graduate Showcase.

Launched on Wednesday 23 June with a visit by the Lord Mayor of London William Russell and Head of Colleges for Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon David Crow, more than 100 students from the BA Costume for Theatre and Screen, BA Production Arts for Screen and BA Theatre Design courses have their final degree pieces exhibited in 30 sites across the City of London, the West End and Victoria.

Three mannequins viewed through a glass window. In the foreground, facing the camera, the mannequin wears a white beaded gown with puff cleeves. In the background you can make out a cat costume and a metallic evening dress.
BA Costume for Theatre and Screen
| Photograph: © Mickey Lee

Work on display includes full costumes for productions such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Wicked and Woman in Black, realistic and intricate special effects models, set design maquettes and props and boards detailing the creative process, all highlighting the talents of the students. As well as showing in windows of empty shops, which includes sites at the historic Leadenhall Market and Paternoster Square, the Strand Palace Hotel and Coutts Bank have also opened up some of their public areas to showcase work.

The project activates some of the central London spaces now vacant as a result of the COVID pandemic and its impact on retail and hospitality, providing the the students with a high-profile and easily accessible platform to showcase their skills and expertise are COVID restrictions limited their options to exhibit at college both last year and this year.

Plan your visit using our location map of all the London Showcase sites

a woman walks past a large shop unit, seen from the street. In the window are two long poster boards showing multiple images of student design work. In the middle of a small scale model of an intricate office building.
BA Production Arts for Screen and BA Theatre Design work in the window of a shop unit on the Strand.
| Photograph: © Mickey Lee

The displays have been developed in partnership with business collectives working to enhance their local areas and drive local economic growth with the aim of creating an attractive welcome for visitors and workers as they start to return to London.

Work can be found in a trail that takes visitors across London. At Canon Place, 78 Canon Street, work from all 3 courses visible from the street with pieces including a marionette theatre and mannequins with costumes for La Belle et La Bete, Wicked and the Wizard of Oz and special effects models. Five minutes' walk from there, at One New Change shopping centre, the windows of 3 retail units will show costumes, designs and a floor-to-ceiling exhibition of multiple set design visuals.

In Victoria, costumes on display include entries for this year’s Golden Shears tailoring competition and a reproduction of a Marianne Faithful suit from the 60s.

And at the Strand Palace hotel, students have transformed the exterior shop units into an exhibition for passers-by that showcases the very best skills and talent from all 3 courses. Works on display include an array of colourful costumes, vibrant headdresses, a model-making desk that features the set for Mojo for the Royal Court downstairs, technical drawings and set design projects from the BA Production Arts for Screen - all visible from the street outside the hotel.

Katrine Hasselquist  who is graduating from BA Costume for Theatre and Screen, is showing her interpretation of a late-Victorian dress in a window at One New Change shopping centre. She said: "We usually have degree shows to show our work at the end of our course, so being part of an exhibition like this wasn't even on my mind. It's such a great opportunity to show my work in a place where so many people can see it. It's great!"

A man in a suit and a young woman in a flora dress, both in face masks, stand in front of a large shop window through which five mannequins wearing elaborate costumes are visible.
The Lord Mayor of London William Russell and BA Costume for Theatre and Screen student Katrine Hasselquist with a display of graduating students' work at One New Change.
| Photograph: © Mickey Lee

Speaking about the project, David Crow, Head of Colleges for Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon, said:
“I am enormously proud of our graduating students who have worked to achieve so much in what has been a very challenging period. All of us at UAL are delighted that people in London can see their creative work on show and celebrate their achievements. I am also pleased our students can take part in this opportunity to highlight London’s role as a leading cultural centre and an incubator of the next generation of talented creatives.”

Charlotte Fletcher, Chair of the Cheapside Business Alliance said:
“It’s fantastic to be able to support the college students and bring some of their amazing creations to Cheapside. As we see workers and visitors returning to London we want to provide the very best welcome possible and this project with UAL is a great example of how creative partnerships can transform the City.”

From 30 June you can also see more work by our graduating students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

A man in a suit stands, clapping, in front of a row of cameras as students present their work in shop windows to the left of the frame.
The Lord Mayor of London, William Russell, launches the student window displays in Leadenhall Market on 23 June 2021.
| Photograph: © Mickey Lee
three people have stopped in the street and are standing with their backs to the camera, looking in detail at student costume work in the windows of two large shopfronts.
The public admires students' work on the Strand.
| Photograph: © Mickey Lee
a shop window display showing two mannequins in costumes, behind which hang posters showing the illustrations and designs for the costumes. On the left, the costume is in dark brown hues, and on the right the costume is a pale pink regency men's outfit.
BA Costume for Theatre and Screen work in the window of a shop unit on the Strand in central London.
| Photograph: © Mickey Lee