A Lancaster wardrobe assistant is staging an exhibition of her own stunning creations at The Dukes this spring.
Katie Duxbury has made costumes for several Dukes productions since graduating in theatre design in 2009 and she’s let her imagination fly for her Piece By Piece exhibition currently running in the gallery until April 13.
The striking collection of fantastical costumes feature recycled materials and have a variety of inspirations including waterfalls, autumn leaves and wild animals.
“A lot of the costumes have been inspired by local environments such as the beach at Morecambe,” said Katie whose design for one of the exhibits features bits of fishing net found on the shore.
Another costume was inspired by Grizedale Hall which Katie used to visit as a child.
“When I start a design I often have a particular idea and then, as part of the creative process, it develops. This is how it differs from my usual work in theatres when I have to stick to someone else’s designs.”
Most of Katie’s creations are made of scraps of material which would have been thrown away or charity shop finds including old purses, handbags, buttons, beads and belts.
Katie’s Flapper dress was produced from a tangled string curtain while a Huntress bodice was created from metal washers.
“I like the idea that some of my designs could be worn as alternative wedding dresses or for a special occasion like a red carpet event,” said Katie.
Piece by Piece is Katie’s first exhibition since she graduated from Nottingham Trent University. Her work for The Dukes has included two of its outdoor walkabout shows and two Christmas productions. She will be returning to the Lancaster theatre this summer to make costumes for Hansel & Gretel in Williamson Park.
Katie recently spent six months in London’s West End where she worked on the awardwinning production of Top Hat and she’s made costumes for productions in Oldham and Lichfield too.
Anyone wanting to pick up some tips from Katie can attend a free drop-in workshop at The Dukes gallery from 11am-4pm on April 5. Katie will provide a basic dress and lots of materials and invite visitors to help her decorate it. All ages are welcome and there’s no need to book in advance.
The Piece By Piece exhibition is open during normal Dukes opening hours. If you are making a special trip to see it, please call the Box Office as sometimes the gallery is used for other activities.