by Alexander Fury .

Fabulous Folk

Set designer Simon Costin has always looked to the unusual, often bizarre and occasionally macabre in his work: witness the savage shard-like metallic chandelier from Gareth Pugh's A/W 2009 menswear show, or any of his multitude of collaborations with Alexander McQueen (human body parts as decoration in the A/W 1997 'Ecclect Dissect' collection for Givenchy leap to mind and send a shiver down the spine). At first glance Costin's latest venture, the Museum of British Folklore, seems somewhat out of character. After all, there could be nothing less sinister than egg rolling, Maypoling or swan upping (I must confess, the precise nature of the last has me flummoxed too). However, Costin's childhood fostered a love of the archaic native traditions of Britain, which he now seeks to commemorate and celebrate through The Museum of British Folklore. On Thursday night, Costin hosted a Folklore Fete at The English Folk Dance and Song Society at Camden's Cecil Sharp House - packed with Morris Dancing, tombolas and flower garlands and attended by a throng of fashionable folkies including Michael Howells, Nicky Haslem and Helena Christensen - to launch and raise funds for a permanent museum of folklore. The first step along the way is Costin's next innovation, a decorated caravan with display cabinets exhibiting craft, artefacts and images from across the British Isles - with special contributions from the likes of Pugh and milliner Stephen Jones - which will tour festivals from Cambridge to Stornaway this summer. One of the unique contributions to the cause is a video by filmmaker Ruth Hogben, edited from Costin's extensive archive footage of the most archaic of British traditions. Later this month, SHOWstudio will showcase Hogben's film, alongside an interview with Costin himself.


  1. brownbunnybyiris
    21:10 12 May 2009
    Bizarre and macabre!
  2. brownbunnybyiris
    21:12 12 May 2009
    Seen actually milliner Stephen Jones show in London!
  3. nickknight
    11:09 13 May 2009
    We have a fantastic piece on Mr Costin coming up very soon.