I have to admit, before a little research I didn’t know what a Pierrot troupe was! It only took me 60 seconds to find a familiar image of a man with a white face, a pointy hat with a pom-pom on top wearing an oversized black and white costume, resembling a clown. The Fashion students of Blackpool & The Fylde College will be all too aware of this image. After weeks of researching, developing and creating, the designers from both the first and second years of the course have grouped together their talent to create an installation piece for Blackpool’s 6th annual festival of words, Wordpool.
Ellie Jakeman, programme leader for the BTEC Subsidiary and Extended Diploma in Fashion and Clothing, said:
A large poster echoes the haunting face of the Pierrot whilst an over sized pierrot hat dances above the ground. References are made to masks, collars cuffs and shoes, like turning pages of a diary, tracing the four decades of performance on Blackpool’s famous piers.
Research undertaken included scouring the huge collection of posters, photographs, diaries, letters and theatre programmes from the Cyril Critchlow Archive at Blackpool Central Library. They heard an insightful talk from local historian Tony Sharkey and there were several trips to the piers and The Tower. The students have been inspired by what they have seen, heard, and found whilst researching the colourful history of Blackpool and the Pierrots that entertained families on the Blackpool piers nearly 100 years ago. They have brought together a collage of Pierrot inspired masks, hats, accessories and garments all created from recycled papers and fabrics. This is the first time that the two years have worked together collaboratively, and they are all excited about the outcome. The installation will be exhibited in Blackpool Central Library throughout the Wordpool festival.
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