Alumni News

Competition to design the Robes for Bath Spa University’s first Chancellor

Recent graduates (from 2013 to present) and current students are welcome to participate in a competition to create a new set of Chancellor’s Robes.

The winner will receive an award of £500. They will have the opportunity to discuss the development of the design ideas with the bespoke tailor Carol Alayne, and will be invited to the Chancellor’s Installation Ceremony.

The Robes
The robes can consist of 3 items: gown, cap (mortarboard or Tudor bonnet style) and hood. The cap and the hood are optional. The set will reflect the creative, cultural and entrepreneurial ethos of the University.

Working in consultation with Jeremy Irons, we have agreed the design should explore the dynamic between the exuberance and lavishness of ceremonial dress and the seriousness of the Chancellor’s role, while also being playful and performative.

Take inspiration from:
Costume for The Hunchback in Rigoletto
Wisdom of the Buddha with the earth tones of India
Medieval stains of the great cathedral windows
Moroccan art

Please also consider the inclusion of design elements such as patchwork, sombre and highlight colours, stripes, diamond shapes, asymmetry, recycled, and ragged and tattered.


Open Call launched 27 July 2016
Project Submission 12.00 mid-day on 8 September 2016
Competition winner announced 15 September 2016
Design and Production discussions completed 1 October 2016
Chancellor’s Robes completed 25 October 2016

Your project submission must consider the following objectives:

  • Primary Research - demonstrate your own individual research in response to the inspiration in sketchbook pages or digital equivalent such as: drawing, photography, fabric, colour, trims, embroidery, etc
  • Secondary Research - prove an analysis of ceremonial and graduation robes with at least 6 inspirational robes images.
  • Concept - display your innovative concept for a ceremonial robe and your own individual approach
  • Craft - demonstrate a skilful design and development approach
  • Organisation and presentation - your project will be well organised and presented

We expect the competition project submission to include the following items:

  • Sketchbook pages or digital equivalent (h)
  • Concept board (A4 or A3)
  • Design development (in sketchbook or separate design sheets/or digital equivalent)
  • Full colour final designs (to include colour, trims and detailing)

Deadline and delivery

Please submit your project by 12.00 mid-day on the 8 September 2016. Include your name, course studied and contact details including phone number and email address.

For online submissions, please email to - large files sizes can be sent through

For physical submissions, please label as Chancellor’s Robes Competition and deliver your work to either Main House reception – Newton Park, or Bath School of Art and Design – Sion Hill reception.

We will contact you in October to arrange the return of physical submissions.

We look forward to receiving your submissions.

Professor Christina Slade