Rebecca Sparkes - BA Costume Interpretation

Rebecca Sparkes is a second year BA Costume Interpretation student at Wimbledon College of Arts.

What year are you in and where are you from? 

I'm in my second year and I'm from Taunton, England.

Why did you choose to study at Wimbledon College of Arts?

I chose Wimbledon because I really wanted to learn how to make costumes at a very high standard, and the college had exactly what I was looking for: a specialist course for costume construction. I also loved that it's close to the heart of London and really easy to get into the city, yet Wimbledon itself has a town-like feel to it.

What's your favourite thing about the college?

It's smaller than most other universities and colleges, so you get to mix with students from all the other courses. I think this is something quite unique to Wimbledon.

How would you describe your course?

Incredible! I've learnt so much since being here. The tutors are wonderful, plus the workshops and studios have so much equipment. There's also the opportunity to collaborate with other courses, which I think is important as you learn about working with someone who's creative but in a different way to you.

What's the most interesting project you've worked on here?

Making tutus! They were so fun; intense but so, so fun! And the result was just as good, when we danced around in them after they were marked! That's another fabulous thing about going into costume making, you get to try everything on and have fun while working!

And what's been your greatest achievement?

At the beginning of the second year, we were each given a Tudor or Stuart portrait that we had to interpret. It was stressful and challenging however the result was amazing. I learnt about printing, fake lace, what it would be like to work to a tight deadline. I was really pleased with what I produced.

How much work experience have you done during your studies?

I've done two work placements; one at Hand & Lock, an embroidery company, and one with Christina Dettmers, who is a historical costumier. Both were very different to each other, but I learnt so much about the real world and they've really prepared me for my future outside studying.

What are your plans for when you graduate?

I'd love to work somewhere that makes historical clothing and involves lots of hand stitching. But I also have a dream of setting up a costume school for underprivileged young adults, to give them an opportunity to work in this area. We’ll see, I’m not sure how it’s going to pan out yet!

Any advice for the next generation of Wimbledon students?

Definitely save as much money as you can before coming, as the course is expensive. But you get to keep everything you buy, so the good thing is that if you wanted to, you can sell your work afterwards!

Related links:

BA Costume for Theatre and Screen