Explore: Fashion

Wardrobe Manager
The Globe Theatre (Shakespeare's Globe)

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Hannah L

00:00:02 My name is Hannah L, and I am Wardrobe Manager at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. A Wardrobe Manager in a theatre like this, liaises with all the incoming Designers and Supervisors, and then manages the show once the Designer leaves. The Designer leaves opening night, and then myself and my department have to run all the costumes, for all the changes, alterations, repairs, maintenance, things like that. I originally trained as a professional Designer in Sydney, Australia, where I’m from. Worked as a Fashion Designer, and then moved into costumes – costume making and supervising. And then – I started here at the Globe as a Wardrobe Assistant. The next season I was offered a promotion, which was an amazing opportunity, so I took it and – and it’s been great, absolutely.

00:00:46 At school I – even from a young age I was always sewing, and doing art. I did musical theatre and singing. So it was always still definitely the world of theatre that I’m in now. I always thought I would be a Fashion Designer ultimately. And that’s what I did after I went to school, and then did that for a little while, then in a bit of a change. It was quite an amazing job, I was working as a millinery and evening wear designer at a new store opening in Sydney, and it was all very flash and exciting, and I was only 22 and it was wonderful. And then it all wasn’t wonderful, and I had what I call a quarter life crisis. I think even then I knew I was costumey. My lecturers at college always said I was quite theatrical. So I decided to look at other avenues, and to look into costume. And never looked back, I suppose.

00:01:38 And then my then boyfriend, now husband, was doing Post Grad Opera Studies, he’s an opera singer. So we both decided to come over the London and explore the world, I suppose. I sent out 400 CVs. I think I got 20 responses. 18 of which were – nothing now, thank you very much, we’ll keep you on file, blah. One was like – we’d love you to make a Bigfoot costume for a crisp commercial. And the other one was as PA/Trainee – Costume Trainee on Munich, the feature film, Stephen Spielberg. Which is the one that I did.

00:02:15 And then I was temping for a little while, so from Stephen Spielberg to temping. And then I – again did a similar thing but with theatres this time. So sent out more CVs for theatres. And then I got the job here, as a Wardrobe Assistant. I’ve learnt a huge amount here. It’s one thing to motivate yourself, but to motivate – I’ve got a department of ten people, ten women – to motivate ten other people, is a whole new skill. And – lessons every day about that.

00:02:45 If I could do anything job-wise it would be Costume Design, ultimately, because at the moment I’m organising and fulfilling someone else’s vision, someone else’s dream. Which, although there’s a lot to learn, obviously isn’t what I ultimately want to do. I always planned to win an Oscar for best Costume Design. I don’t know if that’s likely any more, as I’m not in film I’m in theatre. But life’s a long journey, hopefully.

00:03:12 I think teachers are very important people. One woman at High School, she was the Head Teacher of Textiles, and she was very encouraging. I think teachers who have a vocation are, you know, special people. And then Head Teacher where I studied Fashion Design, I always knew he believed in me and could see something in me, and he was always very encouraging. And then amazingly I asked him to make my wedding dress when I got married in Sydney, two years ago.

00:03:35 Ten years I think we’ll be back home in Sydney, I can only see us staying here another three or four years, maybe. Back to the sunshine. I would like to think, five years, designing here. Ten years, probably, home in Sydney, hopefully, baby or two, and doing something equally satisfying, but hopefully less time-consuming I imagine.

00:03:53 ENDS

Hannah Lobeson is Wardrobe Manager at The Globe Theatre. “If I could do anything job-wise it would be Costume Design, ultimately, because at the moment I’m organising and fulfilling someone else’s vision, someone else’s dream.”

More information about Product, clothing and related designers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

37%  male 
63%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Product, clothing and related designers plan, direct and undertake the creation of designs for new industrial and commercial products, clothing and related fashion accessories, costumes and wigs, and for building interiors and stage sets.
Entrants have usually completed a foundation course, BTEC/SQA award, degree and or postgraduate qualification. NVQs/SVQs in Fashion Design and Design are available at Level 2, as are apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3.
  • Liaises with client to determine the purpose, cost, technical specification and potential uses/users of product;
  • Undertakes research to determine market trends, production requirements, availability of resources and formulates design concepts;
  • Prepares sketches, designs, patterns or prototypes for textiles, clothing, footwear, jewellery, fashion accessories, set props, wigs, ceramics, plastics, motor vehicles, domestic appliances and engineering products;
  • Prepares sketches, designs, mock-ups and storyboards for consideration by theatre/film director or client;
  • Submits design to management, sales department or client for approval, communicates design rationale and makes any necessary alterations;
  • Specifies materials, production method and finish for aesthetic or functional effect, and oversees production of sample and/or finished product;
  • Observes and manages intellectual property issues.
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