Designer seeks venue for stunning creations

Modelling her own designs, Katie would love to see her dresses worn as an atlernative on the red carpet.
Modelling her own designs, Katie would love to see her dresses worn as an atlernative on the red carpet.

A Gildersome designer is looking for a suitable venue to stage her stunning creations.

Katie Duxbury is currently exhibiting her designs at The Dukes Theatre in Lancaster until mid-April but says she would love to bring her collection back across the border to Yorkshire.

Katie has made costumes for many theatrical productions since graduating in theatre design in 2009 from Nottingham Trent University, and has let her imagination fly for her Piece By Piece collection.

The striking collection of fantastical costumes features unusual materials which are intricately cut and layered. The dresses have a variety of inspirations including waterfalls, autumn leaves and wild animals.

She said: “Many of the costumes have been inspired by natural environments such as the beach and countryside.”

One costume features bits of fishing net found on the shore while another was inspired by Grizedale Hall, where she would visit as a child.

Katie said: “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 design.”

Many of her creations include scraps of material which would have been too small for more conventional pattern cutting, or resourcefully reused finds including purses, handbags, buttons, beads and belts.

“I hope that some of my designs one day will be worn as alternative wedding dresses or for a special occasion like a red carpet event,” she said.

Piece By Piece is Katie’s first exhibition since graduating, but has gained lots of theatre experience working at theatres on productions including The Snow Queen, Peter Pan, Chicago, Alice in Wonderland and David Copperfield.

She said: “My own designs are where I have the chance to make whatever I feel like, rather than sticking to another designer’s vision.

“I don’t often go out specifically to seek inspiration, as I get ideas all the time as I see things in my daily life- and these ideas get sketched, noted or sometimes just logged in the back of my mind until I have time to work on them. “The kind of things that trigger ideas may be the colours in a landscape, the textures or patterns in an animal’s scales, or sometimes a particular fabric I’ve come across. These ideas are often combined in my designs with the shapes of historical fashions from different periods.

“With a new venue I can be fairly flexible as to the size, as my work can be presented in a number of ways. The exhibition would comprise of up to 11 outfits, accompanied by accessories and photographs. Much of it can be hung and draped on walls, though most of my creations are rather heavy, so strong fittings are essential!

“But ideally there would also be space to stand several mannequins to display the dresses, where people could walk around them to see all the different sides.”

Anyone who can help Katie bring her designs home, can contact her by email at

To see more of her designs, visit