The Costume Studio

With experience working with projects from Bell Shakespeare to Moulin Rouge, TAFE NSW Sydney Institute teacher and course co-ordinator, Roslyn O'Dell has invaluable experience and contacts in the industry.

"TAFE NSW encourages its staff to return to the industry regularly to keep up to date," says O'Dell. "One of the main things in the course is that most of the modules are taught by industry specialists and special guest speakers to lecture on their area of expertise. One of the modules is 'work placement'. That's one of my jobs – to place them in the industry – and I visit them on location, costume workrooms and on film sets. The course itself is very demanding, but the students are highly motivated and produce great work. Some are already working in theatre or film, or are university graduates who have a degrees theatre studies and want to specialise in costume."

We speak to Jade Monteverdi who is doing the Diploma of Costume TAFE course. She has worked for all the major networks in Australia and is carrying on her costume design skills to make a dress of the historical figure Cleopatra for her major work. Jade, who has styled presenters and actors on everything from All Saints and Home & Away to Channel V, Nickelodeon and CD live, aspires to one day be a wardrobe mistress in film or TV.

Teachers say that students wishing to undertake the Diploma of Costume course, which is currently offered at TAFE NSW Ultimo College, must have a passion for costume and the performing arts in order to get the most out of it.

VJ Matthew Jenkin