Luca Costigliolo, an internationally celebrated theatrical and historical costumier, re-created the ball gown that Joséphine Bowes is wearing in her portrait seen in the John & Joséphine galleries.





The dress was made with the finest Italian silk, specially woven in Como, using sewing techniques employed at the time.


Luca, an expert on historical sewing methods, has appeared in BBC 2’s Victorian and Edwardian Farm series and has been involved in creating the wardrobe of Lucretia Borgia (played by actress Holliday Grainger) for the TV series The Borgia’s. He is a founder member and a teacher at The School of Historical Dress in London.


For the duration of the exhibition, Luca was happy to answer questions and explain his method of working. His daily progress was chronicled on-line via our social media channels, Facebook and Twitter pages.