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Posted 15.06.17

Costume Production Collection: Our top four

By Kat Peberdy

As part of our annual Degree Shows, our BA (Hons) Costume Production and Associated Crafts students have prepared a wide range of Sci-Fi, historical and aquatic themed costumes that showcase their skills in craft, pattern-cutting and costume construction.

We've selected four stand-out costume production students whose work is not to be missed. In no particular order...

Ruth Anderson

‘The Fish Bride & Stavarin the Soviet Zombie’

Inspired by the sci-fi worlds of zombies, aliens and all things horror, Ruth has designed and developed costumes made primarily out of latex while enhancing the characters using the process of breaking down and applying SFX make-up.

“The work I’m exhibiting in the graduate show is a love letter to some of my favourite works and focuses on the natural fear of inhuman humanoids.”

The Fish Bride, inspired by the deep sea flora and fauna, is an exploration into the opportunities designing for the sci-fi and fantasy genre could provide. Stavarin the Soviet zombie was chosen to further explore the breaking down processes used within the film and theatre industry to achieve monstrous results, and also to experiment with SFX makeup with the help of professional costume designer Linn Henriksen.

“After graduation, I plan to expand my knowledge of SFX makeup and creature design alongside creating costume for horror and sci-fi productions. I would like to go into freelance work whilst travelling through Europe to take advantage of it’s legacy of specialising in producing horror films.”

Instagram // Facebook

Ruth Anderson 'The Fish Bride' (Left) and 'Stavarin the Soviet Zombie' (Right)


Alice Shilling

‘Burlesque Beyoncé & The Polypus Human’

Fascinated by the world of Burlesque, Alice’s glamourous costume is an interpretation of a design for Beyoncé’s Mrs Carter Show Tour by designer Hayden Williams. Her second costume embraces science fiction and depicts a creature inhabiting planet Earth in the year 3446, in which the planet is submerged under the sea.

Alice has used her passion for creating creatures, headpieces and working with plastazote, to broaden and develop her technical skills and unleash her fascinating creation, The Polypus Human.

She has also secured a work placement at Rainbow Productions in London, to progress her skills in making large mascot and children’s characters. Speaking of her plans for the future Alice said: “I plan to develop my own costume business from my studio in Cornwall, focusing on creating burlesque costumes for local performers as well as sales worldwide via my website.”

Website // Instagram

Alice Shilling 'Burlesque Beyonce' (Left) and 'The Polypus Human' (Right)


Sara Whetherly

'Exuvia Prodigium' & ‘The Sailor Suit’

Sara’s passion for 3D costumes and props shines through with her other-worldly submission piece for the World of Wearable Art competition. During her time at the college, she has developed skills with a variety of techniques and materials including sculpting, latex and constructing structures that make up the characters imposing wings.

“My sci-fi creature is based on insects and the exoskeleton. I thought about what made insects superior to humans which included the exoskeleton, their ability to fly and their defence mechanisms - that’s where the bones, wings and pincers came from!”

Sara has also chosen to interpret a design by Colleen Atwood from Sweeney Todd, The Sailor Suit for the character Mrs Lovett, using traditional corset making and tailoring techniques based on patterns from the late Victorian Era.

Instagram // Facebook

Sara Whetherly 'Exuvia Prodigium' on stage at WOW (Left) and 'The Sailor Suit' (Right)


Bethan Shore

‘Azureus Cornibus’

Bethan’s inspiration for her Azureus Cornibus costume is derived from the natural world, with reptiles, amphibians and winged animals having an influence on the shape, shades and textures used. Paired with themes from Alexander McQueen’s Plato’s Atlantis Collection, the resulting piece is a mesmerising and iridescent mythical creature.

“My work is largely based on natural and organic forms; focusing on interpretations of animal and hybrid creatures to form exuberant and dynamic creations, such as large-scale pieces specialising in human-animal creations. A significant part of my current practice and research is the exploration of mythology and folklore in costume design practice.”

Bethan plans to continue exploring fabric manipulation and embroidery, with the aim to establish her own business within the South West in the near future.

Website // Instagram

Bethan Shore 'Azureus Cornibus'

See these designs and more at our Breaking Through Degree Shows until Thursday 22 June.

The students of BA (Hons) Costume Production and Associated Crafts will also be exhibiting at the OXO Tower Wharf, London from 20-23 July as part of the must-see Destinations event — a showcase of diverse costume and performance design work from leading art institutions.