This is an intensive vocational and highly practical course for four students per year covering all aspects of costume work. This includes pattern-cutting, costume making, costume supervision, dyeing, millinery, corset making, history of costume, hiring and buying to budget, wig care, basic make-up and all organisational aspects of the work. The students work to given designs, drafting, fixing and making for and dressing all School’s public productions and TV shoots which number between twelve and fourteen per year.
Comments from recent graduates include:
"I have a wide range of skills from my two years of fantastic training I was privileged to gain from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School."
"I gained a wealth of knowledge working in all aspects of the costume department on 24 of the School's productions, as well as on some fantastic industry work placements."
"This hands-on approach was for me the best and most enjoyable way to learn my craft and I feel like my time spent there has fully prepared me for my career in the industry."
"When I applied to the course at BOVTS, I was hoping for a practical way of learning the skills needed for a career in costume. The greatest merit of the course was exactly that, a very real indicator of what life as a professional Costumier entails, learning a huge variety of skills to enable you to get work from the day the course ends and to understand the pressures and joys of the job. It was also great fun working in the department and at the school as a whole, with lifelong friends made and an invaluable amount of industry contacts."
The CDD are now able to offer a number of free audition places across the Conservatoire schools. Places are offered on a first come basis and interested applicants must meet specific criteria. Please check the CDD website for further details on this page.
During the first year, students attend classes and workshops, produce sample work and projects to demonstrate professional techniques in pattern-cutting, making, costume assisting, supervision, costume construction and allied subjects.
During the second year, costume students have the opportunity to learn the basics of menswear, tailoring and continue to hone the skills learned in their first year to produce a selection of costumes for the School’s public performances. They fulfil the role of Costume Supervisor on a short film as well as costume supervision on at least two theatre productions, working alongside Industry professionals and student designers. In the spring term, each student prepares a portfolio, a CV and business cards has a further opportunity to pursue their preferred subject through work experience. At the end of the summer term, costume students prepare for Industry interviews and exhibit their work in a showcase exhibition in Bristol.The aim of the course is to equip students with the necessary skills to work in Theatre, Film and Television Costume departments. Theatre work will include opera, dance, classical and contemporary drama, television and film work may range from game shows, soap operas, film, situation comedies, costume dramas and contemporary dramas. Many graduates work within and eventually run departments in all areas of costume work, others set up in business for themselves to work on a freelance basis within the Industry.
There is a BA Hons top-up year for this course for eligible students who wish to specialise in one of the subjects from the Foundation Degree.
Recent costume graduates have gone on to work as: Maker on Pirates of the Caribbean 5; Into the Woods; Wardrobe Assistant at Salisbury Playhouse; Costume Supervisor for Alice in Wonderland BOVTS / traineeship Milliner's Guild; Costume Supervisor at the Egg in Bath; Costume Assistant/ Standby - Cider with Rosie BBC films / Costume Trainee - Poldark; Assistant Costume Designer - Call the Midwife; Costume Maker - Poldark; Costumier - Mandarin Theatre Paris.
Past graduates have preivously worked on; 24, Call the Midwife, Poldark, Five Daughters, Lost Honour, Atlantis, Stella, Casualty, Downton Abbey, Trollied, Skins, Being Human, New Tricks, Upstairs Downstairs, Larkrise to Candleford, Mistresses, Vera, George Gently and Merlin. Theatre work includes; Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty, Nottingham Playhouse, Polka Theatre, White Horse Theatre, Gifford’s Circus, Rio de Janeiro Carnival, The Bristol Old Vic, The Tobacco Factory, The Globe, Glyndebourne, Chichester Festival Theatre, The Royal National Theatre, The English National Opera, The Royal Opera House and The Royal Shakespeare Company.
Please contact:The Admissions Office, 1-2 Downside Road, Bristol BS8 2XF.Tel: 0117 973 3535.