Costume in Performance: Materiality, Culture and the Body

Book cover of 'Costume in Performance: Materiality, Culture and the Body' by Donatella Barbieri

09 Mar 2018

5.30pm to 7pm

To book a free space, register via eventbrite. 

Drawing from her new book, Costume in Performance, Materiality, Culture and the Body, Donatella Barbieri's presentation will consider the relationship between performance-making via costume and the archive. Exploring selected historical productions through which the active engagement with costume has enabled the performer to create new types of performance, she will associate these to contemporary performances at the cutting edge of practice.The special chapter contribution by Melissa Trimingham included in this volume will form part of the discussion. The session will be chaired by Giulia Pecorari.


Donatella Barbieri’s research addresses the lack of discourse around the materiality and the body in performance in various ways: through experimentation within performance-making laboratories; via costume-based installations and exhibitions; experimental pedagogy channeled in the MA course she established at London College of Fashion, and on which she now teaches; presentations of her research nationally and internationally, and through research publishing, including her founding of Studies in Costume and Performance, the only research journal to focus on the subject of costume specifically. She was awarded the V&A / LCF Joint Research Fellowship, enabling her access to the V&A archives of theatre and performance. Her recently published book, Costume in Performance: Materiality, Culture and the Body, (2017) links her AHRC-funded Designs for the Performer project on contemporary practice and on the historical insights initially advanced in the Encounters in the Archive project. As researcher, academic, designer and performance-maker, Barbieri often collaborates with colleagues nationally and internationally in a number of cultural institutions and universities. She has convened groups such as TAPRA Scenography Group and curated festivals such as Costume in Action at World Stage Design 2013. She coordinates LCF’s Design for Performance Research Hub and currently supervises seven PhDs, which are focused on dress, performance and curation.

Giulia Pecorari is the BA Costume for Performance Course Leader at London College of Fashion. Previously she was Lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Her experimental designs includes work in a range of different performance practices including work for Studio XO, where she worked on projects for Lady Gaga and Wayne McGregor | Random Dance among others. Giulia Pecorari is a graduate of the MA Costume Design for Performance at London College of Fashion.

This event is part of Research Fortnight. To view the full programme of events taking place 5th - 16 March, click here.

Image credit: Book cover of 'Costume in Performance: Materiality, Culture and the Body' by Donatella Barbieri (Bloomsbury Academic, published 2017)