Congratulations to Downe House and Lindley Junior School Choir for winning the Barnardo’s National Choir Competition last week. The competition was stiff.  From more than 100 entries, 25 school choirs were shortlisted to compete in the fundraising event on Monday, March 12. For the third year running Lindley Junior School choir won the under 12s […]

Daughter has snubbed maths, physics, accountancy, engineering and plumbing and is going to conservatoire. It’s all very exciting.  It then turns out that daughter’s bassoon is too basic for this purpose and needs replacing. Fair enough! It didn’t cost the earth. What makes should we consider?  ‘She needs a Heckel,’ quips Prof. lightly. No problem, […]

While the details of Brexit remain a mystery, its effects on our lives are palpable. Statistics being gathered by the ISM appear to show that around one fifth of people across the arts have already experienced a loss of some work to their European counterparts. While Europe looks on aghast, we are tearing ourselves apart […]

Benslow Music Day 2017

Musicians and stall holders needed. Benslow Music Open Day is a lovely opportunity to while away a summer’s day in their gorgeous gardens to the strains of music and birdsong. Definitely a good family day out.  

National Youth Orchestra NYO

Black Dress Code is delighted to announce a new partnership with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain to support the invaluable work they do to inspire musicianship among young people. We’re looking forward to the summer season and especially the NYO at Snape on August 3rd and the BBC Prom on August 5th.

Bacc for the Future - Arlene Philips

In case you haven’t seen it, here is a copy of the letter handed to Number 10 Downing Street last week by choreographer Arlene Phillips CBE and Nick Brook, Deputy General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, on behalf of BACC For The Future. Download letter here. Of course, the letter was signed […]

Gender-neutral uniforms - Marlene Dietrich

There’s a wonderful story in The Guardian this morning about 10- to 13-year-old girls in New Zealand refusing their traditional school uniform kilts, ‘saying the archaic uniform reinforced traditional and outdated stereotypes.’ I can’t imagine I was that coherent at the age of 10. But this is clearly a generalised move as a number of […]

Music Education Expo 2017

Our stall was busy at this year’s Music Education Expo at Olympia. If you dropped by, it was lovely to meet you and we hope you enjoyed trying on our black dresses and separates.

London Textile Fair

One of the most fascinating events in the fashion calendar is the London Textile Fair (11-12 January 2017 at the Business Design Centre). Packed with the most gorgeous fabrics from Europe and Turkey, the fair opens a window on what could be done for soloists if they so choose. It also provided us with an […]

Bacc For The Future

It is more than one year since the Department for Education launched a consultation on its plans for a new English Baccalaureate (EBacc). The planned EBacc excludes creative, artistic and technical subjects. It will make a minimum of seven GCSEs (and as many as nine) effectively compulsory for secondary school pupils in England; since the […]

Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition 2016

Black Dress Code’s stand was popular at the Royal Greenwich International Early Music Festival & Exhibition this year (10 – 12 November). Instrument makers, music publishers, shops, record companies, organisations and forums all gathered at the exhibition which took place in Blackheath Halls, a beautiful listed building. Visitors were treated to a feast of good […]

Edward men's shirt

We noticed that many of you were quite upset at being excluded from our exciting new range of performers’ clothes so we decided to give you a treat. Our Edward shirt is now in stock. Our new, luxury men’s shirt is made in a fine, two-fold cotton poplin with 4% elastane for added comfort. The […]

Vivien skirt (maxi) - adult - front view

Our Vivien skirt (in a maxi length) is now in stock. It’s a simple, long-length, A-line skirt, made in a machine-washable, crease-resistant scuba crepe and perfect for stuffing into your backpack while on tour. Children’s and adults’ sizes are available. Midi and mini versions of the children’s skirt will be available soon.

Proms 2016

Our Kathleen dress made its Proms debut last night, worn by bassoonist Julia Flint in the National Youth Orchestra. The program included Gravitational Waves (Iris ter Schiphorst), Also sprach Zarathustra (Richard Strauss) and The Planets (Gustav Holst) and was conducted by Edward Gardner.

Benslow Music Open Day

Come join us at Benslow Music’s fun open day on the 24th July. Held in their beautiful grounds in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, the day promises to be lots of fun for all. We’ll be bringing our brand new collection for you to try on and choose from and we’ll be offering a discount to our […]

BBC Music Magazine

Did you see us in BBC Music Magazine? We were thrilled to be featured in their July issue. As they say, what orchestral musicians wear on stage can be a divisive subject among audience members, but what about the musicians themselves? They ask, “…does anyone ever bear their comfort in mind? Evidently so…” Of course […]

Violinist wearing Clara skirt

We’ve just taken delivery of loads of stock, including several new lines: dresses, sashes and our gorgeous Clara Skirt (pictured here). All are now available to buy online. The Clara Skirt is a luxurious, full-satin skirt, with a net and taffeta underskirt to give it body. The skirt is held at the waist with a […]


President Juncker, head of the European Commission, has ordered a group of three commissioners to find funding for the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO). The announcement came on 31 May following the culture meeting of the EYCS council of ministers. A statement on the EUYO’s website thanked all who had supported the campaign, but cautioned: […]

Dame Evelyn Glennie

Congratulations to Dame Evelyn Glennie, Peter Eustace and Papworth Trust for winning a SILVER GILT award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show! Peter Eustance of Symphonic Gardens has developed an acoustic Artisan Garden for disability charity Papworth Trust, inspired by Evelyn. The Papworth Trust – Together We Can Garden creates an acoustic pulse inspired by Evelyn’s […]

Save EUYO - European Union Youth Orchestra

We are adding our voice to the chorus of support for European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) and backing the campaign to #SaveEUYO. The EUYO represents the power of being united in diversity and is one of the most distinguished cultural ambassadors for the EU. For 40 years, the EUYO has been regularly standing out as […]

Dame Evelyn Glennie

We are delighted to announce that our latest collaboration is with inspirational solo ‎percussionist‬ Dame Evelyn Glennie. Dame Evelyn has teamed up with Papworth Trust to create a ‘Together We Can’ garden for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016. The garden reflects Dame Evelyn’s passion and ability and was particularly motivated by her fascination with […]

Congratulations to the St George’s College Chamber Choir, finalist in the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year Competition 2016. The choir appeared on Songs of Praise on 24 April, performing Ev’ry time I feel the spirit to critical acclaim. The choir was thrilled to receive a well-deserved trophy as runners-up in […]

Julia Flint at the Royal Festival Hall for the NYO’s Blaze of Youth spring tour

Black Dress Code had its first outing last week with the National Youth Orchestra’s Spring tour Blaze of Youth. The NYO, described as “the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers”, was conducted by Kristjan Järvi and performed Fire and Blood, a concerto by Michael Daugherty, and Stravinsky’s masterpiece The Firebird. Here is bassoonist Julia Flint wearing […]

Welcome to Black Dress Code

Welcome to Black Dress Code’s first collection of black concert clothing for classical musicians. The past year has been a steep learning curve for us discovering what you wanted and finding ways to make it happen. We’ve visited factories, spoken to numerous designers and producers, trodden the streets of various UK cities, felt the texture […]