Biography.

Image of Wendy Benstead

Having graduated with a Degree in Costume for the Screen and Stage from Bournemouth Arts Institute in 2006, Wendy has established herself as a reliable, dedicated Costumer.

After acquiring valuable knowledge and experience in costume houses and studios, Wendy has positioned herself as an expert costume maker for the stage, screen and fashion. Now working independently, Wendy has the ability to broaden the scope of her work and to accommodate all aspects of Costume and Clothing; from design and realisation through to sourcing, styling and dressing.

“I first developed my love of costume and theatrical clothing through films, such as Bram Stoker's Dracula, The Fifth Element, The Cell and Star Wars Legacies. I am fascinated by how clothing can be taken to the extremes of creativity for a performance, and how costumes are used to convey so much about the character through visual representation.

Corsets are my passion, and I have been making them for years. I adore how they work with the shape of the body to enhance curves and create a silhouette. I am also intrigued by how corsetry has shifted culturally, from a garment that was suppressive and torturous for women, to something revered as empowering and visually evocative in the present day.

I first started sewing as a child, taking inspiration from my Mother's career as a Sail Maker. Watching her inspired me to learn the skills needed to create garments from flat fabric. I started by using commercial patterns, making my own clothes on my Mother's sewing machine. However, I soon found I wasn't excited enough by the existing patterns, and wanted to make more outrageous garments to satisfy my creativity. I would cut up old clothes I found in charity shops and adapt and customise them to make interesting and unusual pieces. By making something personalised and unique, I could fuel my desire to wear clothes that were more imaginative than the pieces that were in shops. I was young, and didn't have access to the couture fashion I loved, so I made my own!

I love clothes; it's a simple as that. I love how a beautiful outfit makes you feel and can change the way you carry yourself. I love how you can use clothing to convey era, class, character or personality through a clever, and well thought out costume or item of clothing.”

Wendy provides an all encompassing Costume service for her clients, ranging from alterations to existing clothing and styling advice, to working on major film productions. Through her love of design, production and creativity, Wendy has developed her business to suit the needs of each client she works with. Working with many high profile artists, Wendy has been a part of a number of exciting projects, and is building an increasingly impressive reputation for herself.