B L U E    S T O C K I N G S



Blue Stockings is the story of four young women with the aspiration to graduate from Girton College (University of Cambridge) in the 1890s. In the concept meeting, the Director’s vision was to emphasize gender equality, idealism vs realism, and the value of education. The aesthetic goal was to visually demonstrate self-discovery and new beginnings. 

At the beginning of the process, the director emphasized that the costumes would be rooted in the period. The set was going to be abstract - resembling parchment paper. To contrast, the costumes would bring a sense of “life” with a vivid, range of colors.

To embrace the idea of vivid self-discovery and traditional 1890’s academia in Jessica Swale’s Blue Stockings, the use of period-accurate silhouettes, a simplistic-approach to trim and ornamentation, a controlled color scheme, and a selective pattern/print selection was used to evoke a feeling of individuality within a structured environment.

INSPIRATIONAL SONG(S): "Trains" - Poppy Ackroyd

This song was used as inspiration and utilized in the production of Blue Stockings by the Sound Designer, Alex Brock. With this, the music also inspired my work on the production, too.

Disclaimer: The following  research and reference images are utilized under Fair Use: Copyright Disclaimer under Section 107 of the Copyright Act in 1976; Allowance is made for "Fair Use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. All rights and credit of these research images go directly to its rightful owner. No copyright infringement intended.


For Blue Stockings, I wanted to build a costume for the character Elizabeth Welsh. She was a real-life person, the headmaster at the all-girl’s Girton College. Welsh’s purpose in the plot was fighting for women’s right to graduate. Yet, she felt the need to forgo any other rights for women in order to achieve this one goal. She despised suffragettes and fires her schoolteacher for being associated with the cause. 

For this character, I made a design choice to create a stylized-version of the character. With a pop-of-color and sleek silhouette, I wanted her to resonate with a modern audience. In addition, I wanted her to be emphasized during key moments of the plot including the final protest. I researched different jacket and coat styles for women in the 1890s. I was attracted to a long-style with large leg-o-mutton sleeves. I wanted the character to seem dominant and “larger than life.” 

With this, I worked alongside two makers, Meredith Buckley and Laura Molander, to build Elizabeth Welsh's coat, vest and skirt. The process began with a conceptual sketch and selecting fabrics. I was seeking a selection of fabrics that would provide a mood of "academia." For the coat design, I wanted a blue-colored fabric as this character was a literal representation of “blue stocking.” Then, prior to the mock-up and final build, there were multiple discussions about the research and sketches including lapel width, pocket placement, and the fullness of the back pleats. 


Venue: Patricia Corbett Theater (PCT).

Playwright: Jessica Swale

Director: Susan Felder.

Stage Manager: Haileigh Warren

Scenic Designer: Noam Denenberg.

Costume Designer: Brittannie McKenna Travis.

Assistant Costume Designer: Miranda Cotman.

Lighting Designer: Will Baker.

Sound Designer: Alex Brock.

Technical Director: Jacob Blumberg.

Props Masters: Finley Fields.

Co-Wig Designers: Brittannie McKenna Travis + Tiara Jones.

Makeup-Designer: Tiara Jones.

Maker(s): Meredith Buckley and Laura Molander.

Photographer: Mark Lyons.