Case Study 3: Wardrobe Assistant

Joanne Harvey

Joanne Harvey from Medway, who is studying Creative Arts for Theatre and Film at UCA Rochester contacted the Kent Film Office in February 2013 to enquire about work experience opportunities.

The Kent Film Office passed her CV onto various companies and from this, she got a placement as a wardrobe assistant at Wear Wimbledon based in Wimbledon Studios.

The wardrobe assistant aids the wardrobe mistress in all areas of costume organisation.  This includes costume selection, costume hire, fittings, and putting away costumes in the correct sections therefore organisation and attention to detail is crucial.

Joanne says: “In my second year of university, one of our projects was to get out in the working environment and find some work experience. We had an allotted amount of time to fill, but I was struggling to find a last placement to fill the time. Kent Film Office very kindly passed my CV onto different companies’ and before long, I had heard back from Wear Wimbledon

She continues: “My role was as wardrobe assistant, assisting in whatever way I could to ensure that the costume hire and day to day running of the business, ran smoothly and to schedule. It was really interesting to see the process of costume selection, right the way to final decisions. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to help out with some fittings. It was fascinating to see the character come to life when the correct costume had been selected.

So what did Joanne learn? “The main thing is the day-to-day running of a working wardrobe.  Costumes need to be sorted and booked out and returns need to be checked back in and put away in correct sections. Organisation is crucial.

She continues: “Having hands on experience has allowed me to gain a knowledge of how a costume wardrobe is run, and what is involved in creating the range of costumes that end up upon our TV screens. I have also gained an understanding of the time period that each designer has to make their costume selections. The process is a lot shorter than expected, so the designers have to have a clear image of what they want the end character to look like, to ensure that they achieve the image they are looking for.“