By Press Office 16 April 2019

Queen Margaret University’s (QMU) flamboyant annual Costume Showcase event will be returning to Scotland’s oldest purpose-build concert hall, St Cecilia's Hall, located just off the Royal Mile on the 2 and 3 May 2019. 

The runway showcase event, which is now one of the main highlights in the University’s calendar, shows off the creative talents of students on QMU’s BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction course. Many graduates of this course have gone on to create costumes for theatre, film and TV, with some working on popular shows such as ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘The Voice’, and ‘Outlander’, theatrical productions including ‘War Horse’ and ‘Cirque Du Soleil’, and Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Gravity’.  

Queen Margaret University’s unique Costume Design & Construction (CDC) course – Scotland’s only degree focusing equally on the design and construction of costumes and where students learn by working on real shows – has built a reputation for both creative and craft excellence over many years. This year, 40 students from across all four years of the BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction will showcase their work at the end of year catwalk event, with costumes modelled by students from across QMU’s performing arts departments.

Sarah Paulley, Lecturer in Costume Design, discussed the 2019 show. She said: “This is a fantastically exciting and varied show which features creative talent from every year group.

“This year, the show will involve an assortment of historical characters including Charles II, Joan of Arc and Marie Antoinette, with collections inspired by the romantic medieval ‘Belle Dame Sans Mercie’, Charles Edward Worth, and futuristic 1920s cubist ballet. There will be suits of armour, towering wigs, a collection of corsets and a scary Jabberwocky.”

To complement the enchanting St Cecilia’s Hall, the show features a specially commissioned collection of characters from Lewis Carroll’s dream like fantasies ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Alice Through the Looking-glass’. The Mad Hatter, the Red and White Queens, and Alice herself will be joining them for crazy tea party.

This joyous event has been generously supported by the Honorary Costumier Awards Scheme, which allows organisations and individuals to support individual students by providing funds to buy the materials needed to create these dazzling costumes.

For the first time, our graduates will also be exhibiting their work in one of Scotland’s most prestigious venues. The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel in Edinburgh, has kindly offered to house the creative exhibition between the 6 and the 27 May. The hotel is keen to support emerging talent and to invite new guests into the hotel to view the exhibition. In a new collaboration, QMU and The Balmoral will also present this year’s promenade event showcasing Alice in Wonderland-inspired costumes as part of a themed Balmoral Afternoon Tea at the hotel’s iconic Palm Court on 27 May. The promenade promises to add yet more magic and theatre to the five star experience.

Sarah Paulley concluded: “We are very much looking forward to this year’s Costume Showcase, the exhibition and the promenade event. We are extremely grateful to all of our funders for their support of the students – without their generosity, this would not have been possible, and to The Balmoral for hosting our 2019 Graduate Exhibition.”

Tickets for Costume Showcase at St Cecilia’s Hall, 50 Niddry Street, Edinburgh are available here.

  • Thursday 2 May 2019: Time 7pm for exhibition then show at 7.30pm - tickets £15.00
  • Friday 3 May 2019: Time 3 pm for exhibition then show at 3.30pm - tickets £5.00
  • Friday 3 May 2019: Time 7pm for exhibition then show at 7.30pm - tickets £15.00
  • Tickets for purchase on the door (subject to availability). Show lasts approx. 50 minutes.
  • Monday 27 May 2019: The Balmoral’s Afternoon Tea is £40pp. To book call +44 131 556 2414 or visit palmcourt.balmoral@roccofortehotels.com
  • The Graduate Exhibition at The Balmoral’s Lower Gallery will be held from 6 May 2019 to 27 May 2019. Admission is free.

Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk; T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239 or Karen Keith, Media Relations and Content Officer on E: kkeith@qmu.ac.uk T: 0131 474 0000.

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