Thursday 10 January 2019

Preston Park Museum - Behind the Seams Exhibition

This is a collaboration with Preston Park Museum 

Every time I think can I really still call myself the "New Girl" I'm reminded that there are still so many places in the North East that I am yet to discover. Every month we try and visit somewhere new and for our first adventure of 2019 we headed to Preston Park Museum near Stockton-onTees for their Behind the Seams Exhibition.

Preston Park Museum - Behind the Seams Exhibition

Behind the Seams

If you are huge movie and TV fans like we are (you will find us in the cinema most weekends!) then you are going to love the Behind the Seams Exhibition which is bringing a handpicked collection of 35 costumes from some of the best loved shows and movies to the North East including Game of Thrones, Dowton Abbey and Titanic.

Preston Park Museum - Behind the Seams

The exhibition explores the story behind Angel Costumes, the world's largest costume house, who have won 36 Oscars for their work. Angels have been providing costumes since 1840 with thousands of their costumes having been worn by the world's biggest stars. It's not often that a true slice of Hollywood comes to the North East so the exhibition gives us all a rare opportunity to experience the glitz and glamour of the small and big screen.

Preston Park - Behind the Seams Exhibition

The Costumes 

The Behind the Seams Exhibition is displayed across two beautiful rooms of Preston Park Museum and there honestly couldn't be a more perfect setting for the costumes. With heavy dark wooden doors, ornate chandeliers and tiled floors I couldn't help but take a moment to admire my surroundings before having a proper look at the collection.

Preston Park - Behind the Seams

Each costume is accompanied by a display board telling you some facts about the film and costume.  We also found it helpful to consult our little guide book as we made our way round which told us more of a story about each piece (the book costs £1.50 and you can purchase it at the desk).  My movie loving husband loved that some of his favourite movie soundtracks were being played as made our way round, he's one of those people who can identify a piece of music from a film within the first couple of notes and he enjoyed guessing the soundtrack.

There was something for both of us in the exhibition - I loved the beautifully delicate dresses from The Crown and Great Gatsby and Simon enjoyed seeing some classic costumes from his childhood including Indiana Jones and Dr Who. I don't want to give too much away but I couldn't resist sharing with you just a couple of our favourite pieces from the collection.

Beauty and The Beast

We watched this movie in Miami when we were on our Honeymoon so it holds a very special place in my heart, having loved the original cartoon version as a child it was amazing seeing Emma Watson bring the role of Belle to life.  This stunning dress features in the opening scene of the film and I was interested to discover that the Beast's costumes were designed to make it look as though the characters in the castle had handmade them - such a fantastic design detail!

Preston Park - Behind the Seams - Beauty and the Beast

The Crown

This costume was worn by Claire Foy in The Crown and although based on the original coronation dress that the Queen wore, the team at Angels didn't have the luxury of being able to hand embroider four thousand crystal, gold and diamond beads to the dress!  Their creation is just as beautiful though and I was mesmerised by how sparkly it was. Out of all of the costumes we saw that afternoon this was the one I was dying to swish about in, it was so delicately detailed.

Preston Park - Behind the Seams - The Crown


My family has a pretty important connection to the Titanic, my Great Grandad was a fireman on the ship and managed to escape the sinking boat on a lifeboat, so as you can imagine, the film always gives me goosebumps when I imagine what my Great Grandad must have gone through to escape.

Titanic won countless awards including Best Costume Design! The attention to detail was so precise that a number of vintage pieces were restored and used for the movie and as the ship used for filming was the reverse of how Titanic was originally docked in Southampton, all of the text stitched into the costumes and props had to be backwards so that when the film footage was later reversed to make the ship appear the right way round it would read correctly.

Preston Park - Behind the Seams - Titanic

Bohemian Rhapsody

If you have't yet seen Bohemian Rhapsody you really must see it as soon as you can, it's a fantastic movie and is definitely one of our favourites films of last year. On display at Behind the Seams  you'll find four costumes worn by the actors playing Queen.  I was interested to discover that Rami Malek (who did a fantastic job playing a very convincing Freddie Mercury) spent 50 hours in costume fittings and the real Brian May offered his own original pieces for filming including the personalised robe he wore in the "I Want to Break Free" video - amazing!

Preston Park - Behind the Seams - Bohemian Rhapsody

Preston Park Museum 

Having never been to the Preston Park before  once we'd finished at the Exhibition we decided to have a little potter round the Victorian Street where we walked the cobbles to discover what life was like in 1875 and I just about managed to drag Simon out of the traditional sweet shop without him buying anything (miracle!)

Preston Park Museum

If you want to turn your visit to Behind The Seams into a fantastic day trip there are also some really lovely river and woodland walks in the grounds. We enjoyed a rare glimpse of the January sunshine with a stroll and there were so many people out walking. Having made the mistake of not packing our walking boots we had to cut our potter pretty short so if you want go for a proper explore make sure you have some good footwear with you.

We absolutely loved our day following in the footsteps of the stars at Preston Park and now we've discovered what a great place it is we'll definitely be back for a visit next time we're in the area.

Preston Park Museum - Teesside

What you need to know:
  • The Behind the Seams Exhibition runs until Sunday 3 March 2019 
  • The Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm with last admission at 3:30 pm
  • Museum entry costs £2.50 for adults (£1.50 concessions) and the exhibition costs an additional £5.00 for adults (£3.00 concessions) 
  • There's a tearoom as part of the Victorian Street in the Museum or you can get snacks at the cafe in the play park. If you're wanting something a little more substantial I highly recommend a trip to nearby Yarm. 
Find Preston Park Museum at:

Yarm Road
TS18 3RN

This post was sponsored by Preston Park Museum.


  1. This looks great, it's been years since I last visited Preston Park Museum too so this is the perfect excuse!

    1. A lot of people have said to me they haven't been for many many years so hopefully this exhibition will be a great way for people to reconnect with the place - it's so beautiful!

  2. It looks fabulous Chloe - I can't wait to visit!

  3. I love looking at costumes, especially when I recognise where they were featured. This looks like such a good day out!

    The Crown Wings | UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    1. Yes, it's extra special when they're from a TV show or film that you love!

  4. This exhibition looks fab, I'm not sure I'll get around to visiting though as kt's quite a drive! I went to an exhibition at the V&A years ago which was all costumes from movies - including Dorothy's Ruby Slippers. It was amazing, you'd have loved it!
    Laura x

    1. It took us about an hour to drive there but it is worth the trip if you make a day of it - Yarm is nearby too and its a lovely little place for lunch!

  5. Had a brilliant time at the Behind the Seams Exhibition. We did the V. I. P tour and that included a guided tour, tour, guide cream tea, and tours if the museum costumes. The costumes are amazing especially since we've seen most of the films and TV programmes featured. Well worth a visit 👍🏻

    1. Oh wow that sounds like a brilliant to enjoy the exhibition!

  6. We loved it too - the Game of Thrones costume was my fave.


© New Girl in Toon | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig