Grassington Glory

Last Thursday we travelled to beautiful Grassington in Yorkshire to present a Tudor fashion Show for the North Yorkshire West Federation WI. It was a large federation event and it proved very popular being fully booked with a large numbers of members in attendance.

We presented our show in the Grassington Devonshire Institute – a large spacious building in the centre of the town. Built in 1855 as a Mechanics Institute and extended in 1923 and 1997, the present building houses a main hall with stage, octagon theatre with stage, kitchen, games room, two further letting rooms, changing rooms and foyer. It plays host every year to a number of popular events.

King Henry VIII

A number of ladies mentioned they have been watching the recent series ‘Wolf Hall’ on television. ‘Wolf Hall’ is a historical drama chronicling the rise of Thomas Cromwell, the son of a humble blacksmith who became King Henry VIII’s chief minister, as he navigated the corridors of power in the Tudor court.

The series includes appearances by King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour – famous figures of the period all included in our show. A WI member mentioned she had just finished watching ‘Wolf Hall’ and was looking forward to seeing the costumes ‘up close’ – she certainly got the chance at our Tudor Fashion Show.

Mary Queen of Scots

We chatted to members after the show  – questions included  ‘ are the skirts and bodices separate or stitched together?’, where do you buy your fabrics?’ and ‘how are the ruffs/wisps made?  – come to our next event and find out! All the ladies said they really enjoyed it – we certainly enjoyed presenting it!

On a personal note I found the execution of Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall the most moving I have ever seen dramatized in either film or on television. Claire Foy gave a magnificent portrayal and although Anne was portrayed as not the most likeable person during the series – she certainly managed to gain our sympathy by the last scene.

This has proved our most popular year ever at Julia Renaissance Costumes – our booking for 16th century events have certainly increased due to the massive interest in  ‘Wolf Hall’.

Incidentally our bookings for ‘Enter the World of Jane Austen’- my Regency costume talk with display- have also increased as it is the bi-centenary of the battle of Waterloo in 1815 – it is certainly proving to be a bumper year for us!

I would like to thank Margaret at the WI for all her help and support in making the event such a success  – I would also like to thank her for kind hospitality in providing lunch and drinks for my team.

We really enjoyed presenting the Fashion Show in the Grassington Devonshire Institute for the North Yorkshire WI.  Finally I would like to thank my splendid team for all their excellent work!



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