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Palace House Blog - May 2019

Palace House has become the temporary home for eight spectacular costumes designed by students at Arts University Bournemouth, each representing a period in Beaulieu's splendid heritage.


Last month the staff and visitors of Beaulieu were blessed with the arrival of eight new costumes in Palace House, each one representing a period in Beaulieu’s splendid heritage, covering a timescale from the 13th century to the 1940s.

After the success of last year's ‘Steam Punk Costumes’, displayed in the National Motor Museum, Lord Montagu commissioned a further set of costumes to be created by the third-year Costume and Performance Design students from Arts University Bournemouth.

Costume designed by Arts University Bournemouth students for Palace House display AUB students model the costumes on the private lawn of Palace House. Credit: Ian Nicolls and Penny Wade.

On show in the Palace House kitchen is the humble ‘Victorian Cook’ costume. The outfit takes its inspiration from various items and themes found in the kitchen, including copper jelly moulds occupying the maid’s hat, and a colour scheme reflected by the warm ambience of the walls and cabinets. The dress also features a prepossessing, hand painted apron, detailed in accordance to the Spode china, which so fluently embellishes the kitchen shelves.

Buckler's Hard costume designed by Arts University Bournemouth students for Palace House display The Buckler's Hard costume. Credit: Ian Nicolls and Penny Wade.

As your visit through Palace House progresses upstairs to the Upper Drawing Room, you will find yourself met with the lustrous hues of the Buckler’s Hard costume. This design sources its inspiration from 18th century naval costumes, combined with a merman on the jacket, which was based on a figurehead design displayed in the maritime museum at Buckler's Hard. The designer also aimed to celebrate female empowerment, by basing a heavily naval based costume around the female body, as 18th century women had no position in the navy.

Secret Agent costume designed by Arts University Bournemouth students for Palace House display The Secret Agent costume. Credit: Ian Nicolls and Penny Wade.

Another two characters you will be wowed by are the 1930s-40s ladies, which excellently convey the story of the Lady and the Rebel Exhibition, which explores the lives of two inspirational women before and during the Second World War.

The military uniform is based on the attire The Hon. Elizabeth Montagu wore whilst serving in the Mechanised Transport Corps during World War II. It also showcases a golden griffin motif; a strong symbol that proudly represents part of the Montagu family’s coat of arms.

Beaulieu costume designed by Arts University Bournemouth students for Palace House display The Beaulieu costume. Credit: Ian Nicolls and Penny Wade.

These costumes are not alone in residing within Palace House; they are joined by multiple other extraordinary designs for you to discover, including the spectacular work of Belinda, Lady Montagu, whose work is currently displayed in The Art of Belinda, Lady Montagu.

We are fortunate to have these costumes on display until the 20th of May, so join us at Palace House and take a tour through the centuries with the help of the delightful costumes, thanks to the gifted students of The Arts University Bournemouth.

The Arts University Bournemouth costumes will be on display in Palace House until 20th May 2019 and are included in your admission ticket to Beaulieu.

All photographs courtesy of Ian Nicolls and Penny Wade.


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