Three Uxbridge College students have been chosen to take part in costume-making and fitting for the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.
The students on the Production Arts Design qualification have been assisting the Olympic and Paralympic wardrobe department in the run up to London 2012, and one will also work at the ceremonies. The course, an Extended Diploma at Level 3 which is the equivalent to A levels, teaches back-stage skills in costume-making, hair-styling, and make-up.
Calista Ross, 20, is due to assist in dressing the performers during the ceremonies, and along with Amy Brian, 20, and Jessica Green, 19, also helped measure up some of the 3,000 performers for their outfits.
All three students were invited to do three weeks work experience in the costume-making workshop, but only Calista was available. After taking up the placement over Easter, she has continued working with professional costume makers and other volunteers making the unique outfits. Each costume is made-to-measure from scratch for each individual performer Calista, who lives in Finchley, said: “I have really enjoyed it and it is a unique experience – I’ll always be able to say ‘I was there at the Olympics’.
“The course at Uxbridge College has really helped me – for instance having worked on the shows at college, which gives you experience learning to deal with performers as well as learning costume-making.
“I’ve really learned a lot as you have to pick things up quickly. It’s very busy in the workshop and can be stressful as it is a real-life situation.”
Lynn Pomfret, Production Arts Design lecturer, said: “It’s been an amazing experience because the students have been working with graduates, and they can’t believe how much they know from doing a qualification at BTEC Level 3.
“The course gives students the practical skills and experience to go into a wide range of jobs. These range from the kind of work Calista, Jess and Amy have been doing, to working as a make-up artist in bridal services, assisting at fashion shoots, or working for a theatre company or in film. This is a huge industry and there are so many opportunities out there if you have the right skills and qualifications”
Lynn has 20 years experience working in wardrobe and costume in everything from Phantom of The Opera to the BBC series The Great British Bake Off Calista hopes to go on to complete an HNC in Garment Making at the Fashion & Textile Museum. Jess has applied for an Apprenticeship at Angels costumiers, which owns the largest collection of costumes and accessories anywhere in the world and has been supplying the entertainment industry for nearly 170 years.