By Stephen Lewis

EVER wondered how the sumptuous costumes on TV dramas such as Peaky Blinders,Victoria and Game of Thrones get made?

Well, wonder no more. Next Friday and Saturday you'll be able to see for yourself.

Costume designer Pauline Chambers made the costumes for some of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters - including the Hogwarts school uniforms worn by children in the Harry Potter films.

She's also done costume design for major operas and period TV dramas.

Eleven years ago, in 2006, she set up the Northern College of Costume right here in York, to train up the next generation of costume designers.

Promising students from all over Britain and beyond come to the college - based in Market Street, York - to study every aspect of theatrical costume design.

And twice each year they get to put their designs on show to the public.

Next Friday and Saturday, eight students will be putting their work on show. Their designs this year include reproduction First World War uniforms, beautiful silk 18th century-style gowns, and elegant evening dresses in the style of the 1930s and 1940s. The 'Tommy' uniforms are actually made from fabric spun by Hainsworth in Leeds who have produced wool since the 18th Century.

Pauline's students have, in the past, gone on to work for all the major theatre and opera houses across the country, as well as producing costumes for TV shows like Game of Thrones, Outlander, The Crown, Victoria and Peaky Blinders.

But the exhibitions at the Northern College of Costume are their first chance to show their designs off in public.

Next weekend's exhibition is no exception.

"The course this year has been a joy and all of the eight students have worked incredibly hard to create really beautiful costumes," says Pauline. "All of the students come from various backgrounds and of different ages. But this is their first night!

"It is a real opportunity for them to showcase their work and to have the satisfaction of seeing their finished costumes on display. It gives them a tangible goal to work toward throughout the course - and it also functions as a valuable networking opportunity for them as it is attended by industry professionals."

For anyone just interested in how theatrical and TV costumes are made, however, the exhibitions are just a fabulous chance to see behind the scenes of the costume-making process.

"Visitors to the exhibition will have the chance to see first hand the level of skill that goes into creating theatrical costumes and to speak with the people who create them," Pauline says. "They will see the entire process, from samples to designs to the finished garments."

BLOB The Northern College of Costume student exhibition runs at the college on Market Street next Friday (October 20) from 2pm – 7pm and next Saturday (October 21) from 11am – 4pm. Entry is free and includes refreshments.