A Secret Love

My last every uni project, this is a really sad post for me. I love my last year of uni so much, everyone had full control over your projects it was designer heaven.

So for my final major project I knew I wanted to make two historical costumes which were highly embellished. It took me a while to think of my project but once I did I got so excited! So my project was inspired by the period drama Downton Abbey. In season 5 there was a small part in the drama about the grandmother of the family Violet Crawley, briefly talking about her trip to Russia when she was in her 30’s. There she fell in love with a young Russian Prince called Igor, they planned to elope however, Igor’s fiance found out about their secret love affair and stopped the whole thing.

When doing my research it turned out the writer of Downton Abbey was inspired by the novel War and Peace and Leo Tolstoy.

Back to project, I took this small story line and made my own interpretation of this.I made my interpretation as a film and chose three scene which would introduce all four characters Violet, Violets husband, Igor and his fiance. I designed for all three scenes and then I made the two costumes for the final coronation scene which as also Igor’s engagement party.

Underneath is the final photo of both my costumes together with the models. Both costumes really compliment each other and also represents each character perfectly to what I imagined in the design process.


Here are a few photos of my Violet Crawleys costume for the coronation ball. First of all i’m really annoyed with the photographer as he took so many photos of the front of my costume which had majority of my hand beading but somehow can’t seem to find these photos!

But anyway, for my females costumes I created a corseted bodice which was off the shoulder. I had beaded all of the bodice of the corset which had Gardenia flowers which in the Victorian period symbolized ‘a secret love’.


I also hand beaded the train of the costume with again Gardenias but also with Spider flowers which symbolized ‘elope with me’ which her and Igor planned to do.


Now for my male costumes, my absolute favourite out of the two!

In my tailoring module I mentioned how I hated the full project blah blah, so for my major I really wanted to go over the tailoring skills I learnt in my second year and polish them and improve them for this project. So with knowing I wanted to make a jacket that’s when I started looking into the Russian Tsars as their jackets were beyond amazing.

For my jacket I used a silver Velvet which was the wort to work with as Velvet moves ALOT! I machined stitched all the embroidery on the side, pockets, cuffs and the buttons with a gold thread.


I also made a waistcoat for my male costume as you can see, I got the material fro Dainty Supplies in Washington (England) and I am so in love with the material I can’t wait to make an amazing skirt out of it however, that’s a different post.


Well that’s it, my last ever post about my uni projects. I wish I could do me three years again as each project was so fun.

I hope you all enjoy and I do apologies for the lack of shoes my male model is wearing, just can’t get the models these days ey?!



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