Lancaster designer’s Victorian walk challenge

Katie Duxbury wearing her thousand mile dress on a Lake District climb
Katie Duxbury wearing her thousand mile dress on a Lake District climb

A Lancaster costume maker is wearing one of her own spectacular designs whilst walking 1,000 miles for charity.

When not working as deputy wardrobe supervisor at The Dukes, Katie Duxbury can be found climbing mountains, strolling along promenades and rambling through woods in her ‘Thousand Mile Dress.’

Inspired by the plight of refugees, Katie decided to challenge herself to walk 1,000 miles in a dress, accumulatively probably over a year.

“This idea developed while I was working on Nancy’s costume for The Dukes production of Oliver Twist last summer,” said Katie. “I became interested in the ageing of clothes and how many miles it would take to cause real damage, as opposed to the artificial ageing of our theatrical garments.”

Like Nancy’s costume, Katie’s special dress is long and Victorian in style. Part of it is make up of ‘scales’, one of Katie’s trademarks, and for every pound donated, she will add another scale to the garment, making it heavier to walk in.

So far, Katie’s walk has taken her along Blackpool promenade, through the Grizedale Forest in Cumbria and even up the Old Man of Coniston, where the dress was accessorised with a rucksack!

Katie said: “People don’t expect to see a fully costumed person wandering around but usually it is met with interest or people smile and are slightly embarrassed, pretending not to have noticed.”

Katie has recently returned from New Zealand where she attended the World of Wearable Art exhibition and felt fortunate that she could travel so freely while refugees often have to make long journeys not for pleasure but for safety, often only in one set of clothes and carrying all their possessions.

That’s why she decided to donate proceeds from her walk to the UN Refugee Agency. You can find out more and donate by visiting