Head of Wardrobe/Costume Designer
The Head of Wardrobe/Costume Designer works alongside the team of theatre professionals to provide at least 10 fully costumed productions within the academic year as part of a fully programmed season. The Head of Wardrobe/Costume designer will work especially close with our Designer(s) on each production to collaboratively realise the costume design. The Head of Wardrobe/Costume Designer will oversee the make-up and wigs for each production, briefing freelance make up and wig artists where necessary.
All members of the department work on all productions. This role is key in effectively delivering the artistic and creative teams’ vision to the stage. It entails detailed collaboration with directors, colleagues and students, working on a wide range of plays and styles, in a variety of performance spaces. The ability to lead, develop and enthuse a team of students, to remain calm and focused under pressure, to meet deadlines and have flair and a creative approach to design is essential.
Due to the needs of the school and the department, we may interview suitable candidates before the closing date. This job may also close early if a large number of applications are received. You are advised to submit your application as early as possible to avoid missing your chance to apply.
- Consult with directors and oversee all costume and make-up for the theatre;
- Work in collaboration with the Designer and Scenic Artists on the costume design for each production;
- Read plays and design costume, wig and make-up plots;
- Liaise with freelance artists for make-up and wig support where necessary;
- Plan, organise, and lead the student led wardrobe and make-up team for productions;
- Ensure the historical and contextual accuracy of costumes, make-up and wigs for each production;
- Arrange for students to be measured and fitted for costumes and hair pieces;
- Select costumes from stock;
- Make new costumes as required and undertake costume alterations as necessary;
- Purchase/hire appropriate costumes, make-up and wigs and accessories for productions and stock;
- Develop a strategy to list, maintain and assess theatre’s stock of costumes, make-up and wigs;
- Attend technical and dress rehearsals when required and make final adjustments for costumes, make-up and wigs;
- Make up cast before shows when required;
- Effectively manage students in wardrobe, dressing rooms and make-up room;
- Keep a high standard of housekeeping within wardrobe and make-up;
- Check returned costumes from all productions;
- Sort and clear up costumes, make-up and wigs after shows;
- Wash, iron, repair and rehang costumes;
- Ensure the wardrobe/make-up department delivers to deadline and on budget in all projects;
- Work closely with the Designer and Scenic Artist, and Assistant Designer on a day-to-day basis;
- Manage the departmental budget;
- Ensuring that all College health and safety and security procedures are observed;
- Travel to/visit external costume hire establishments to choose costumes and make-up for productions;
- Operating within the constructional, budgetary and health and safety constraints of the theatre as set by Director of Drama and/or Head of Production;
- Manage relationships with suppliers ensuring best value procurement and strict delivery schedules;
- Develop and expand the student wardrobe & make-up department in consultation with the Director of Drama/Head of Production;
- Supporting the Head of Theatre Studies in a non-teaching capacity in the delivery of the academic programme;
- Offer pastoral support for any student teams you work with;
- Provide opportunities for students to upskill in wardrobe, wigs and make-up;
In relation to safeguarding:
- Where required, undertake regulated activity, such as unsupervised contact with children, ensuring that safeguarding procedures are followed and providing safe and effective care at all times;
- Good understanding and effective implementation of Child Protection procedures;
- Commitment and promotion of equality, diversity & inclusion;
- All positions at Eton are classed as ‘regulated activity’ as per the Keeping Children Safe in Education 2023 guidance, therefore a good understanding of safeguarding procedures is essential;
- Commitment to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of students, including by not limited to, completing safeguarding training as required, and ensuring any safeguarding updates issued by the College are read and understood;
- Understand and comply with procedures and legislation relating to confidentiality.
In relation to Health & Safety:
- Maintain the highest levels of health and safety standards, and act as a role model for the students in matters of safety;
- Keep abreast of current Health and Safety legislation;
- Take responsibility for the safe disposal of all waste generated by the costume & make-up areas;
As a member of the Eton Drama team:
- Attend daily check ins and weekly meetings with the theatre team and harness a creative environment that is supportive and collegiate;
- Ensure a warm welcome to all collaborators and users of the theatre;
- Support the smooth running of all projects by sharing information with all colleagues, so that all staff involved have all the information they need to perform their duties effectively;
- Help student teams focus on specific tasks, help coordinate effort and motivation of all team members, clarifying requirements as and when required;
- Undertake any other reasonable task as requested by the Director of Drama/Head of Production to ensure the effective running of the theatre.
Please see job description for full details on working pattern.
The Ideal Candidate
To be successful in this role, you will need to be able to demonstrate the following:
- Relevant hands-on professional theatre experience in a wardrobe department with a creative and stimulating approach to costume design;
- Proficient sewing/alteration skills for making/altering costumes;
- A working knowledge of sewing machines, over lockers and laundry equipment;
- Able to produce and update costume tracks for productions where required;
- Relevant dressing experience;
- Good IT skills including use of emails, Word and Microsoft Excel;
- Experience and an understanding of modern theatre production techniques;
In addition to your experience, you may enjoy this role if you possess:
- Excellent verbal communication skills and presentation skills;
- Good written communication skills;
- Strong planning and organisational skills;
- Excellent time management skills with the ability to work well under pressure and to deadlines;
- Creativity and resourcefulness in problem solving;
- The ability to work alongside and motivate students;
- A commitment to continued professional development;
- The ability to work collaboratively as part of a team;
- An imaginative, enthusiastic and adaptable approach with high levels of efficiency.
Eton College offers a wide range of benefits, including an 11% employer contribution to your pension (with 4.9% employee contribution), Employee Assistance Programme, enhanced Maternity / Paternity scheme, a cycle to work scheme, subsidised lunches during term time, free access to the College’s sport and leisure facilities and discounts at local retailers and businesses.
About the College
We are an equal opportunities employer and are seeking applications from suitable candidates from all backgrounds. We are dedicated to creating and sustaining an environment that values individuality and difference and celebrates the diversity of both staff and pupils by fostering perseverance, tolerance and integrity. We believe in equal opportunity for everyone, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background.
If you have any queries about the application process or any problem with submitting your application online, the Recruitment Team will be happy to help. Should you require any reasonable adjustments to be made or facilities provided to enable you to apply online, please do not hesitate to contact us on email@example.com so we can make adjustments accordingly.
Eton College is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, and applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including, but not limited to, reference checks with past employers, an Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (including Barred List information), an online search and, where applicable, Prohibition checks. If you are successful in your application, you will be required to complete a DBS Disclosure Application Form. Any information disclosed will be handled in accordance with any guidance and/or Code of Practice published by the DBS. The College is exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and therefore all convictions, cautions, reprimands and final warnings (including those which would normally be considered as “spent” under the Act) must be declared, subject to the DBS filtering rules. It is a criminal offence for any person who is barred from working with children to attempt to apply for a position at the College.