Sarah Sparkles founder of Sparkledome Studio, is a Brooklyn based designer and production artist of crystal props, costumes, accessories, and fine art. Custom event décor, set dressing and installation art for immersive venues and store windows is also available. Clients include Bergdorf Goodman, Swarovski, and Pat McGrath Labs.
Specialties include highly detailed, custom crystal rhinestone embellishment and the ability to transform an environment from the ordinary into the extraordinary. The Sparkledome studio will turn your imagination into reality!
For crystal commissions and set dressing inquiries, please drop a line on the contact page or via email to email@example.com.
'Sarah Sparkles is the Queen of High-End Bedazzling'
Nobody shines quite like Sarah Sparkles. As the designer-bedazzler-installation artist tells it, her origin story is familiar to anyone who found their own way in the city: “Fresh out of college, I was managing a fashion boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and could barely pay my rent. While looking for extra work, my friend David Seigel said "Sparkles, do you know that you can get paid to put sparkles on things?" “REALLY?!!!...” He put me in touch with the holiday windows production manager at Bergdorf Goodman… and the rest is history! I had grown up in Far Rockaway, an isolated urban beach town, and had no idea that I was stepping into an iconic New York City tradition.”
From humble beginnings, Sparkles has built her own company, Sparkledome Studio, which specializes in crystal embellished costumes, environmental, and prop design that shimmers in a most explicitly Instagrammable way. “Given the budget,” she tells me, “I will literally sparkle anything and everything.” A glorious photo menagerie of creatures she’s bejeweled (including snakes, gargoyles, cats, and alligators) proves it. I caught up with the designer who’s adding a splash of shimmer to New York to talk about her process, her favorite jobs, and just how long it takes to coat a dinosaur in Swarovski crystals.
What Should We Do: When people ask what you do, how do you explain it?
Sarah Sparkles: In my heart and way of life, I am an artist. Professionally, I am a designer and fabricator of crystal accessories, costumes, props and fine art, as well as an installation artist and window dresser. You can call me a sparkle specialist, on embellishment enthusiast.
WSWD: For those unfamiliar with your art, how do you describe the general look of your work?
Sparkles: My favorite materials to work with are Swarovski crystals, semiprecious stones, vintage jewelry parts, mirrored tiles, studs, shells, spikes, and gold leaf. These materials lend themselves well to the otherworldly textures and exquisite shine that I love to create. One of my greatest passions as an artist is channeling mystical archetypes through costume design, prop making, and décor for special events. Professionally, I have gravitated toward long-term clients in the luxury realm, because the budgets they command allow for projects wth extensive detail and unique embellishment.
WSWD: Wow. Your projects are incredibly meticulous; how do you manage and plan your time?
Sparkles: After many years, I can generally trust my intuition about a project’s timeline. That said, I’ve also learned that however long your instinct tells you it will take, you should usually add an additional 25 percent. Curves on an object, working with particularly tiny crystals, or the application of any type of shading are going to add significantly to the time of execution. In an ideal situation, I will do a timed sample of the treatment directly onto the object for the most accurate estimation. In general, the bigger the project, the bigger the math. In 2017, my studio was commissioned to crystal embellish life-size velociraptor skeletons for Bergdorf’s American Museum of Natural History holiday window. I had to spec the project by going to the Bergdorf warehouse, measure every single bone on the dinosaurs’ bodies, then cover a few of the bones to assess how much time and crystals it would take for a 360-degree treatment. For that job, I was working out of my studio with a rotation of eight assistants, bedazzling bones around the clock from May until November. During the summer, we took a studio trip to the beach and continued to sparkle the skeletons there.
WSWD: What's the most extravagant party you've done?
Sparkles: From 2011-2018 I did custom decor for Bette Midler’s Hulaween party under set designer Douglas Little. We also did the “Punk” Costume Institute Gala at the St. Regis and Bergdorf’s 111th Anniversary Party at the Plaza Hotel. My all-time favorite commission for a party was designing a purple Swarovski crystal–encrusted motorcycle for a Prince vs. Richard Prince–themed Halloween party, curated by AHZ Concepts.
Sparkles: The ongoing story of my creative work life is one that spans the grassroots avant-garde, to the world of high-end production arts. For me there is nothing else in between. And that’s how I like it- the best of both worlds. Full on. It brings me great pleasure to share a glimpse into this unique world that is my chosen life path. I hope it will inspire people to live passionately, do what they love, and make the world a sparklier place.