Trained in fashion, Karen Cochet had a successful, innovative clothing business “Salon Dada”, before moving to London, where she worked for “Val Piriou”, a pop-culture, high-end ready-to-wear fashion label. A move to Switzerland in 1990 saw a change of direction, when a chance meeting with Renee Auphan, director of the Opera de Lausanne and later the Grand Theatre, Geneva, lead her into the world of costume. Karen’s role of Artistic Liaison for the Grand Theatre gave her the opportunity of learning and working with the most talented and respected costumers and artisans in Europe, including Yvonne Sassinot-de-Nesle and Agostino Cavalca.
A career highlight was the Fete des Vignerons in 1999, a prestigious festival and show, held once every 25 years in Vevey, Switzerland, where Karen was responsible for the realisation of over 6,000 costumes, spanning all periods from 15th century to contemporary design. During the preparation of this show, Karen worked in Paris and had the good fortune to work with Christian Lacroix, Couturier, who had been commissioned to design Pales et Sa Suite.
Karen was the resident costume designer for Ballet Romand from 2003 to 2008, realising the costumes for The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Peter Pan and It’s A Small World to name a few. Her last project in Switzerland was Calvin, Geneve en Flammes a show celebrating the 500th anniversary of Jean Calvin in Geneva.
Karen moved to the Gold Coast, Australia with her daughter Lily in 2009 and joined
Opera Queensland in 2010 where she worked on her first production The Merry Widow. Karen has also worked for Queensland Theatre Company realising costumes for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Pygmalion. In 2013 Karen was appointed Head of Wardrobe at Opera Queensland.