Phillip Winter: Historical Costume Designer, Athlete, and Scholar Who Was a Founding Member of the Shakespeare Club, Historical Costume Club, German Club, and York Prep Swim Team
York Prep is excited to present our new “Student Stories” page! Every month you can read a new student profile where students talk about their experiences as students at York, as well their interests and co-curricular projects.
This month we chat with Philip Winter, who entered York as a freshman and is currently a junior. He has been active in many student clubs and sports teams. He recently played a lead role in the fall production Almost, Maine, and is also a seasoned historical costume designer and constructor, whose work has been exhibited throughout the country. Read on to learn more about Philip.
Why did you choose York Prep?
I actually only applied to York Prep for high school, because I knew that the structure of curriculum along with support through Jump Start was perfect for me. Along with this I liked that there were so many clubs I could join to follow my passions.
What clubs and sports do you (and did you) participate in?
I helped start the Shakespeare Club during my freshman year, along with the German Club, and Historical Costume Club. I also joined model UN during my freshman year. I am also a part of the Scholars Program, and helped start the school swim team sophomore year, of which I am now Team Capitan. I also was on the soccer team for the first time this year. Lastly, I have been an active member of the drama program here at York participating in, and even leading in all the numerous plays and musicals the school has put together, from the Charmer in freshman year to Almost, Maine this year.
What are your interests and hobbies outside of school and how do you pursue them?
My main interests outside of school are historical costume construction and design, along with reproduction of historical garments. Currently I am very interested in 1770-1780 and specifically the American Revolution. I have spent a lot of my time outside of school hand sewing and replicating uniforms that would've been worn by child soldiers from all sides during this point in history, in a sense to bring their story to life. Along with this I volunteer at numerous museums through living history demonstrations and even at times battle reenactments.
A single coat can take roughly take anywhere from one to two weeks of work when fully hand sewn. A full uniform can take over a month often two months of work when fully hand sewn.
Tell me about any outside projects or events that you are working on outside of school.
Currently I am working on constructing a musician’s coat that would've been worn by a drummer from the 21st Regiment of Foot during the Burgoyne Campaign near and around Fort Ticonderoga. I am also working on making a Fusilier Coat from Regiment von Knyphausen in the style likely worn at the Battle of Trenton for a Museum.
The coat (pictured in the slideshow) was exhibited throughout the United States in numerous museums through the scholastic art and writing awards
Who do you look up to at York?
I genuinely look up to Mr. Stewart, as cheesy as that sounds I get the impression he has accomplished so much in his life coming from little to nothing. Often Mr. Stewart stops in my German Club and from the little he has divulged about his life it seems incredibly interesting, and I truly believe he loves what he does as an educator.
What are three characteristics that you aspire to embody? How do you (and did you) apply these characteristics to your student life?
I hope that no matter what situation I am in I am able to maintain my cool and sanity. So far I've done a pretty good job of doing that, and among my friends I am known for being pretty laid back. I find that I could apply this better at school though, because often I find myself obsessing over grades that in the end aren't even that bad.
What is your favorite subject and why?
My favorite subject is by far history. Ever since I was little I've been obsessed with all parts of history. Often I would watch documentaries as a little kid and have historical debates with my grandpa. I honestly don't know why I find history so amazing, but I think it’s partially due to the clothing from different time periods, and the stories of everyday people just like us but in different points in time.
Who are your favorite teachers and why?
I’d say my favorite teachers are Mr. Buckley and Ms. Domenicali- Shah, because both are incredibly funny, amazingly intelligent, and engaging teachers. I genuinely never thought I would have as much fun as I am having with my AP Governments and Marine Biology classes.
What has been your best memory at York? What moments/achievements are you most proud of?
I’d say some of my proudest moments at York were performing for the school plays, and speaking at the Genesis poetry reading in front of the whole school.
If you could give advice to yourself as a student entering York Prep, what would it be?
Have fun and join some clubs, and without a doubt you will make some great friends.
What do you plan to do after you graduate from York? In an ideal world I plan to backpack all over Southeast Asia and Europe over the summer, and then hopefully attend my dream collage of Wimbledon UAL in London for Costume Design. After that I will hopefully get work in the movie and TV business, ideally for Netflix making and designing historical costumes on mass.