Costume and Performance Design

Sarah Magill

Lecturer (HE) – Costume and Performance Design



Sarah Magill holds a Masters in the History of Textiles and Dress and a BA in Costume for Screen and Stage. She is an HEA Fellow and lecturer in Costume at The Arts University Bournemouth. Her specialism is historical cut and construction, with a particular focus on early to mid-twentieth century women’s dress. She has an interest in dress history from a material culture perspective, specifically Second World War clothing and the impact of government directives on the manufacture of dress. She recently published a book, Making Vintage 1940s Clothes for Women, utilising period techniques to create reproduction garments. Sarah is the 2017 winner of The Association of Dress Historians Award; her article was published in The Journal of Dress History, as her award submission.

Teaching & professional practice

Sept 2014 Designer and supervisor for The Mermaid and the Oyster promenade performance, as part of The Gallery’s Bathing Beauties exhibition and the Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival. This was a collaboration between The Gallery, BA Acting, BA Make-up for Media and Performance and BA Costume and Performance Design. Oct-Nov 2015 Assistant curator for the AUB exhibition, A Stitch in Line, showcasing work by Costume, Fashion and Textiles students and academics exhibited in The Gallery in November 2015.   Feb-May 2016 Costume designer for Jambusters, a level 4 costume construction unit, which culminated in a live flash mob performance on the university campus in May 2016.   August 2017 Making Vintage 1940s Clothes for Women published   Feb-May 2018 Costume designer for A Woman’s Place, a level 4 costume interpretation unit based on 1950s domestic adverts. This was a collaboration between costume students and the Photography department. Jan-May 2019 Project manager for the Barbie project, a collaboration with Creative Forager, Level 4, 5 and 6 Costume students and BA Photography staff and students.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016)


  • Association of Dress Historians Award (2017)
  • AUB Research Support Fund (2015–2016)

Research Specialism

Sarah has a keen interest in the cut and construction of historical women’s dress, particularly that of the first half of the twentieth century. She is specifically interested in the impact of government directives that dictated production methods and consumption patterns of dress during the Second World War, such as clothes rationing, the Utility scheme and austerity regulations. Sarah has just written a book, Making Vintage 1940s Clothes for Women, for which she received an AUB research fund. This was published in August 2017 and aims to teach period sewing methods through the construction of reproduction 1940s garments. It also aims to give the reader a better understanding of how economising measures during the war affected the manufacture and acquisition of clothing. In conjunction with this, Sarah also used her ongoing research to write an article entitled ‘Standardised or Simplified? The Effect of Government-Imposed Restrictions on Women’s Clothing Manufacture and Design During the Second World War’, which is to be published in The Journal of Dress History. Sarah will begin her PhD study in September at The University of Brighton.

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