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Grayson's Robes Competition

Grayson Perry trying on his 2022 robe in the mirror
Grayson Perry trying on his 2022 robe in the mirror
Grayson's Robes 2022 | Photography: David Poultney

In a unique tradition, UAL Chancellor and Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry wears a custom-made Chancellor robe to our July graduation ceremonies, designed by our talented students.

Grayson is challenging UAL students across all Colleges, year levels and disciplines to design an unconventional alternative to the formal black robes traditionally worn. You can enter in teams of up to 4 as well as individually.

Shortlisted students will get the opportunity to personally meet with Grayson to pitch their ideas in detail and the winner(s) will also receive £1,000 to help bring their idea to life.

See this year's winner go from sketch to stage!

Watch the full playlist about the making of Grayson's previous graduation robes.

Grayson says...

    I’m looking for: 

    Design drawings that can be easily interpreted into a finished garment by me and a skilled seamstress. Show how the garment can be constructed and what fabrics, materials and techniques would best achieve the result – swatches and samples are a must.

    The robe needs to: 

    Retain some of the formal elements of traditional chancellor robes – but also take into account my personal style. I take centre stage so go for an eye-catching design. Strong colours and reflective surfaces are encouraged. I’d also love a glamorous crown or headpiece.

    Comfort is key: 

    The graduation ceremonies always happen at the HOTTEST TIME of the year and involve a lot of clapping, standing up and sitting down, so LIGHTER FABRICS are encouraged.

    I am a man yet I like to dress like a woman: 

    Attention should be given to playing down the male bits (shoulders, long tubular body!) and playing up my assets (good legs!)

    Sustainability:

    At UAL, we’ve placed the need to live and teach more sustainably and encourage our students to address sustainability through their work. I’d like you to include a sustainability aspect to your design.

Read more about sustainability at UAL.

How to apply

  1. Register your interest: Let us know you’re entering the competition by registering via our online form so that we can keep you updated with important competition details.
  1. Submit your entry: Provide a front and back design for the robes and crown (no bigger than A3) and supply some swatches (times and drop-off locations will be shared via email closer to the time).

Further details of the 2023 competition will be shared in the Spring term.

Terms and conditions

Entry Terms and Conditions will be available when the competition reopens in 2023.

Meet the previous winners

  • Grayson Perry poses for a picture with his arms raised, wearing his 2022 graduation robe.
    Grayson Perry wearing his 2022 graduation robe.
    2022: Yuze Li

    Frills, thrills and sewing skills! The Grayson’s Robes 2022 competition reached its exciting conclusion this week, Yuze Li was chosen as the final winner.

  • Grayson Perry wearing his 2019 robes
    Grayson's Robes full image 2019
    2019: Rachele Terrinoni

    Regal ruffles and patterned tights: a 'Renaissance princeling' look


  • 2018: Yuxuan Yang

    Over 220,000 hand-stitched pearl beads adorned this couture gown


  • 2017: Keith Tovey

    The first ever winner created a rainbow of silk organza

Previous stories

  • UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry wearing his graduation robe on stage
    UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry wearing his graduation robe on stage | Photography: David Poultney
    Grayson's robes 2022: from sketchbook to stage

    Gasps, cheers and whoops erupt from the audience as UAL’s Chancellor, Grayson Perry, serenely walks down the aisle of Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall; for the first of many graduation ceremonies this summer.

  • Grayson's Robes competition 2022
    Grayson's Robes is back!

    Following on from the major success over the past few years, we’re pleased to announce the relaunch of our Grayson’s Robes competition.

  • Head shot of Grayson Perry in his 2019 robes
    Grayson's Robes head shot 2019
    Grayson Perry’s 2019 #UALGrads robes unveiled

    UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry debuted his new 2019 Chancellor robes designed by London College of Fashion student Rachele Terrinoni.

  • Grayson Perry wearing robes designed by Rachele Terrinoni standing on the stage at graduation
    Grayson Perry wears robes designed by MA Costume Design for Performance student Rachele Terrinoni
    MA Costume Design for Performance student designs Grayson Perry’s graduation robe

    MA Costume Design for Performance student Rachele Terrinoni was selected this year to design UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry’s 2019 Graduation robe - even making the front page of the Evening Standard!