Foundling Hospital Costume Project

Artists and Designers Fashion Historical textiles Selvedge

We are great fans of the Foundling Museum and also love costume, so a project that gracefully combines the two was bound to catch our eye. costumes (6) This final year project by London College of Fashion graduate Megan Doyle – a theatre performance that portrays a series of events leading to one girl giving up her baby to the Foundling Hospital – is sad but so lovely. costumes (10) Megan's ideas fell into place when she first saw the Foundling Hospital textile tokens, see Issue 36, "each piece overflowed with character, emotion and history. As a costume designer I felt that there was a really touching and delicate story to tell here, so I chose this as the starting point for my Final Major Project in BA Costume for Performance." costumes (9) "My costumes bring to life the same motifs that 18th century mothers used to preserve their love for their abandoned babies. Hearts and ribbons are given to signify love, whilst flowers and leaves suggest a new life. The final costume is a gown printed with many individual acorns symbolising hope and growth." costumes (1) "The destitute Foundling Mother cuts this costume into tokens for the audience to take home with them, as a tactile reminder of the modern day Coram charity which still works to find loving homes for children in need." costumes (12) Performances by actors Lucas Button and Anjelica Barbe, hair and make-up by Stefanie Kemp and photography that really captures the story by Stephen Maycock all adds up to a strikingly sophisticated student project. costumes (14) In the interests of full disclosure, we first met Megan when she worked with us as a Selvedge intern so we already knew she was organised, helpful and committed – but perhaps we didn't realise quite how talented. Megan has a few projects lined up but, like other graduates, is now embarking on a quest for her dream job in costume design for film or theatre. You can find her and all the images from this project at

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  • Alex Rennison-Reed on

    It would have been an emotive and evocative theatrical performance. I too found the write up about the tokens very moving, it’s something that has stayed with me. Our children today have so many ways that preserve memory of their history.

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