Biography

Jill Salen

I have been a lecturer in costume at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) for 14 years. I teach modules such as 'Corsets 1598-1990', 'Cutting on the Stand' and 'Origins of Cutting' to students at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I also supervise the costume element of shows produced by the college.

Between 1975 and 1982 I was the ladies cutter at the Welsh National Opera (WNO), where I worked on 54 operas for designers such as Maria Bjornson and Tim Goodchild.

From 1982 I combined being a mother with the role of freelance costume maker, specialising in ladies period costumes. I now combine my freelance career with teaching.

To enhance my knowledge, I have been steadily measuring corsets in museums and private collections. This, together with support from RWCMD, has led to my book - 'Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques' - published by Batsford in September 2008.

Always interested in fashion and costume, I am pleased to be a member of various costume societies, particularly the Costume Society, of which I am the secretary and archivist.