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Published 28th Jun 2011

Captain Cook on the Catwalk

Historic costumes have taken to the catwalk as part of the build up to the 2012 Olympics Games.

Students of Cleveland College of Art & Design, on the degree course in costume construction for the stage and screen, have shown off their skills at Middlesbrough central library at a ‘Cook on the Catwalk’ event for this year's Middlesbrough Fashion Week and Local History Month.

The show followed an exhibition at Captain Cook’s Museum in Middlesbrough called Stories of the World.

Student Alison Lyons, of Middlesbrough, said: “We were approached by the curator Phil Philo from the museum who asked us to recreate costumes for characters who Captain Cook met through his life time.

“We were given an information sheet on each character that we had to reproduce as accurately as possible; it has been an invaluable experience for us.”

The students were challenged to reproduce either different tribes of people or European characters such as kings, artists and sailors.

The project involved detailed research to ensure the costumes reflected the time that Captain Cook would have met them.

The students modelled the costumes in front of members of the public at the library.

Tutor Jane Havakin said: “This was a great opportunity to involve the students and give them experience using different applications. It’s not all about TV and film, it’s about exhibitions and talks too.”

Student Stacey Bell, of Billingham, said: “It’s interesting to show off our work to a different audience and to members of the public.

“When we did our research it was amazing to find out what materials they could use back then. We have used feathers for our Hawaiian warrior costume and we had eight weeks of constant hand stitching.”

The costumes will form an important part of the Cultural Olympiad in the run up to the 2012 Games. There are also plans for them to take part in another exhibition at the Dorma Museum in Middlesbrough during the Olympics next year.

Mr Philo said: “I think it’s fantastic that the students are involved in this event and prepared to wear them on the catwalk.”

Useful links

The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum

The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum on Facebook

CCAD links

Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD)

CCAD on facebook

CCAD on twitter

CCAD videos on youtube



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