Dreaming of Designs

I think about my job and what I do all the time, and I know my job inside out, and sometimes I am confused when skaters, parents and coaches don’t understand what I do. I know I share a lot of pictures, close-ups of my work on Social Media, but I don’t regularly tell you all what it is that I do,  or what my job is, therefore it should come as no surprise when I am asked what I would consider to be strange questions!

I am a designer, which essentially means I have ideas! It seems so obvious to me that’s it’s actually really hard to describe. The drawing/design that I send to you is the result of hours and hours of research and drawing. The Shapes, colours, styles, textures which I put into a design are the result of research and listening to music, watching choreography. For me, the term “Design” is the ability to translate movement and music into a piece of art that you can wear!

Sometimes when I start out on a new design I only have to hear the music once and I have ideas busting into my head, and sometimes the ideas are not as easy to access. There’s no formula for this, everyone is unique, therefore the approach is different for each person. I always do research, even if I think I already know what rock and roll is for example, because when you place a new set of parameters on a subject you get very different results, and often end up learning a lot about a musical style and genre in the process. The design idea is always much more likely to suit the person I am designing for rather than a generic design which is confined by paradigms which have gone unchallenged! One of my favourite ways to design is to play the music I am designing for, and play YouTube videos of skating which I feel suits the music. So I turn down the YouTube sound, play the music I am designing for, and sit and play on my iPad until inspiration flows out onto the screen! Sometimes inspiration for a design will appear when I least expect it, for instance, I was watching an opera on a rare night off and I found my mind wandering and as I was letting the music wash over me I realised that I’d been focusing on the leading ladies costume, I can’t tell you what was so striking but I suddenly found that I was INSPIRED! I think I had subconsciously adapted her costume into a skating costume, and from that initial idea a whole host of new designs blossomed into my head, and I literally could not wait to leave the auditorium so that I could turn my iPad on and put them down on paper (so to speak)!

I love that I am continually learning, discovering new things through music, about history, culture and life. Whenever I have a new client who brings a new challenge I am thrilled when I find myself on a new course, discovering new ways to achieve results, it’s just the best job in the world, I am so passionate about what I do, and whilst it’s just Lycra and sparkles, it means the world to me and I want to create the costume that will make you feel the same about it!

About Sparkle Ice

I’m Nicola Hobbs, creator of Sparkle Ice.

 I’ll work with you to create exactly the look you want; with each design reflecting the style of the music you’ll be skating to and with all elements of your choreography considered to make sure it works perfectly for you.

I’m a skater myself; Sparkle Ice began with me making costumes for my fellow skaters at Queens Ice Rink in London. My background is in theatre costume design and textile artistry – I’ve got a degree in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent University – and I’ve worked extensively making specialist character costumes for Rainbow Productions Ltd, which included working with a very wide range of fabrics and materials.

All of this combines to give me a thorough understanding of skater’s costume requirements, and the ability to make you something truly special. I only use the best possible fabrics and stunning crystals.

Having a costume that looks incredible and, most importantly, complements you as a skater, will help you feel confident and skate like a champion.

 

Stone Your Own!

This is a brand new range of dresses which are available in every colour imaginable, and any colour combination you can dream of, either stoned by me, or if you want to try stoning a dress yourself you can buy the dress unstoned! These are standard sizes and you can can choose the colour/colour combination and the size. If you need help with sizing, let me know and I can advise you.

Unstoned -£160.00 plus £8.00 p&p

If you would like Flesh colour Lycra under the areas on the dress which are just mesh this is an additional £20.00-This can’t be done retrospectively, so let me know at the start if you would like this option.

All designs can be done with a dance length skirt, this is an additional £20.00.

If you would like me to stone your dress,  I charge £80.00 per 500 AB Swarovski’s in mixed sizes, if you would like other colours please call me to discuss options.

I can’t offer refunds on dresses that have been stoned, therefore I can only stone dresses after they have been tried on to check the size is correct. It will be an additional £8.00 to cover p&p, and dresses must be returned to me via Royal Mail Special Delivery-remember to keep the receipt with tracking information. I will post out a plain black dress in the style you have ordered and once you are happy with the size and fit I will create the Stone Your Own dress in your size and colours.

Please note, sample dresses must be returned to me before the dress is sent out.

Stoning Costumes

Stoning a costume is the best part of the creative process, it can transform what is essentially just bits of fabric sewn together in a dress shape into a truly stunning costume!

Crystals not only bring the costume to life with their inevitable sparkliness, but it enables me as a designer to bring depth to the costume, to manipulate the embellishments to create light and shade, to bring elements of the design to the foreground, and to highlight aspects of the costume which would otherwise be invisible without the crystals.

I used to work in theatre, I have worked on productions not only as a costume designer but also set designer and lighting designer. Lighting a theatrical set is similar to stoning a costume, it is illuminating the design and enabling the audience to appreciate the set, costumes and actors. Imagine a stage with no lighting….. it’s essentially a radio play!

For me as a designer the stoning is an integral part of the creative process, and I enjoy this aspect of the creative process the most. At art school we were encouraged to think outside the box, to challenge our paradigms and to create new ways to create art. This enabled a new way to work, without convention holding us back. I was fascinated by textiles and textures, I think this is perhaps why I love using crystals to bring my work to life.

 

About Me

I’m Nicola Hobbs, creator of Sparkle Ice and I can make you the best skating costume you’ve ever had. I’ll work with you to create exactly the look you want; with each design reflecting the style of the music you’ll be skating to and with all elements of your dance considered to make sure it works perfectly for you.

I’m a skater myself; Sparkle Ice began with me making costumes for my fellow skaters at Queens Ice Rink in London. My background is in theatre costume design and textile artistry – I’ve got a degree in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent University – and I’ve worked extensively making specialist character costumes for Rainbow Productions Ltd, which included working with a very wide range of fabrics and materials.

All of this combines to give me a thorough understanding of skater’s costume requirements, and the ability to make you something truly special. I only use the best possible fabrics and stunning crystals.

Having a costume that looks incredible and, most importantly, complements you as a skater, will help you feel confident and skate like a champion.