When Rebecca Short started her BA Fashion Design course at Birmingham City University three year’s ago she would have been hard-pushed to guess that one of the world’s most popular cultural icons would be wearing a piece from her final year collection. When Lady Gaga’s stylist spotted Rebecca’s designs during graduate fashion week she asked if she could borrow a piece. The next thing Rebecca knew was her neoprene dress (far left) was snapped by the world’s paparazzi and Rebecca’s name was all over the press.
What made you choose the fashion course at Birmingham City University originally?
The University has great links with industry and a lot of visiting tutors, which I found really helps you to understand the way the fashion industry works. Also the facilities and teaching staff were great which was another attraction. Coming from a small town I really loved the excitement of the big city life. There is so much to do so I spent a lot of time exploring, finding cool places to go.
Were there any fashion stores that you would head to in Birmingham for inspiration or favourites to buy your own clothes?
I love COW, the vintage store which is in Digbeth. You can always find some quirky pieces in there. I also love Bullring, my favourite stores being Cosand Topshop.
Can you tell us a bit about your final collection?
The theme for the collection was looking into negative space. Whilst carrying out the project I looked at various artist’s work includingGordon Matta-Clark, Rachel Whitread and minimalist artists Donald Judd and John Pawson. I used their work to help inspire experimental ideas, draping on a stand and then designing from the shapes I had created.
Now you have celebrity clients is there anyone else you would love to design for?
With Gaga being one of the fashion icons of the moment, it sets the bar pretty high! I would also love to see Kate Middleton in one of my designs!
Do you have any tips for new students coming to Birmingham?
Explore the city! The German Christmas market is fab (November to December). I would defiantly recommend going there. It’s a great place to go with friends and you can also take your parents when they visit. The full moon party at HMV Institute is pretty fun, and there are always some great things on at the NEC in Birmingham. I would definitely recommend the Clothes Show Live and Style Birmingham Live for those fashionistas.
Rebecca’s tips for
Going out: Face at Rainbow Warehouse in Digbeth is pretty cool.
Meeting Friends: Heading down to the Student Union and getting involved with societies as a fresher. They are really good ways to make friends.
If you were getting dressed-up for a special night where would you head: I would say Mechu (Summer Row) or Brindley Place.
Where do you think are the most stylist places to hang out: The Custard Factory, you get a lot of cool, quirky and individual styles around there.